Erlene Marie (LeMoine) Waataja, 87, of Virginia, and former resident of Cook, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.
Erlene was born to Oscar and Elsie (Lindbeck) LeMoine on Dec. 26, 1932. Erlene attended school in Cook, graduating in 1951. She married Richard “Rick” Waataja on Aug. 20, 1960, in Cook. They were blessed with four children: Debbie, Tim, Tammy and Bill. Rick passed away Feb. 23, 2004.
Erlene worked at the Corner Café, Casey Rexall Drug and by Rick’s side at the business they owned, E & R Enterprises (a cedar and wood products plant), all in Cook.
She and Rick enjoyed Polka dancing, collecting antique furniture, dishes (oh let’s face it, anything antique). Erlene had many hobbies. Some of which were sewing (usually matching outfits for twins, Tim and Tammy), crocheting, tatting, wood carving (from any scrap of wood she found), and rag rug weaving. Extended family was important to Erlene. At her request, an annual Labor Day weekend LeMoine family picnic was started 10 years ago at the Waataja log cabin (built by hand by Rick). She was able to attend all but a few of these picnics. Health issues kept her from a few.
Erlene is survived by her children: Debra “Debbie” Lenzen of Cook, Timothy “Tim” (Susan) Waataja of Summerville, S.C., Tamara “Tammy” (Mark) Duame of Mountain Iron, William “Bill” (Di) Waataja of Burnsville, Minn.; sisters: Zona (Adrian) Perkio of Britt, Karen (Kevin) Roche of Virginia, Sandra (Karl) Norman of Apache Junction, Ariz.; sisters-in-law: Darlene Richards of Shell Lake, Wis., Colleen LeMoine of Alexandria, Minn., Alice LeMoine of Aurora; grandchildren: Terri (Leonard Pahule) Jansen, Jason (Grace) Lenzen, Joey Lenzen, Kyle Aune, Ross Waataja; great-grandchildren: Cianna Jansen, Reese Jansen, Colton Lenzen, Lane Lenzen, Tyson Lenzen, Jayden Lenzen; and many nieces and nephews.
Erlene was preceded in death by her parents: Oscar and Elsie; her beloved husband, Rick; brothers: Clifford LeMoine, James LeMoine, Richard “Dick” LeMoine, and Rodney LeMoine; sisters: Shirley Sikkila and Gloria Fischer; brothers-in-law: Russell Sikkila and Pete Fischer; son-in-law, Richard Lenzen.
Funeral: Service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Cook.
Visitation: Will be held for one hour prior to the service at the church.
To leave an online condolence visit www.mlakerfuneralhome.com.