In Remembrance

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Dorothy Stoskopf

October 3, 1940 - August 18, 2022

Service Date August 28, 2022

A celebration of life will be Sunday, August 28 at 1:00 PM at Scheie Lutheran Church, Mabel, MN. Visitation will begin at noon. A luncheon will follow the service. All are welcome! Internment will follow at a later date.

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We have all been blessed with 82 years of love, friendship, and cherished time with Dorothy (Dode) Marie Stoskopf (Erickson). She has filled many roles for us….wife, mother, grandma, great-grandma, aunt, cousin, friend, mentor, director, guide, teacher. Always passionate about the causes in which she believed, she loved fiercely and shared her devotion through her actions and words. So many have been impacted by her strength, devotion, and courage to enthusiastically lead and energize those around her.

Dode suffered a stroke on August 3rd. After two weeks in hospice, she passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 18, 2022 at 3:15 AM with her husband, Robert (Bob), and daughters Jana and Jennifer by her side.

Dode was born Oct. 3, 1940 at the hospital in Spring Grove, MN to Verna & Vernon (Shim) Erickson. She enjoyed the benefits of being an only child with a large and vibrant extended family of cousins and friends. Dode lived with her parents on the farm in rural Mabel, MN, where Bob and Dode currently reside. The home has always been a hub of family gatherings and visits.

Dode graduated from Mabel High School in 1958. For 63 years, she organized reunions and kept classmates connected. One classmate called her the “glue that held our class together.” After graduation, she attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, graduating with a degree in English and Secondary Education. There, she caught the eye of Robert (Bob) Stoskopf, and they were married on August 17, 1962 at Scheie Lutheran Church, Mabel, MN. They celebrated their 60th anniversary the day before she passed away. She was not going to miss this special milestone!

Dode and Bob are known as a “dynamic duo” – their impact felt within the Minnesota communities and congregations in which Bob ministered through the years. Together they served parishes in Laporte, Fergus Falls, and 18 years in Grand Marais, where they raised their daughters. Several interim positions followed after retirement. In each of these, Dode was a true partner in ministry – sharing her strong faith as a Sunday School teacher and through her work with Luther League, Confirmation, and adult Bible study and book clubs, as well as community groups. She embraced her love of faith and music when she began the Son’s Rays, an ecumenical choir involving over 150 girls, grades 7-12, in Grand Marais, MN. They shared their music and messages of faith throughout the midwest, as well as Washington, D.C., Hawaii, and Trinidad, West Indies. Many former “Rays” gathered last summer for a reunion concert at Bethlehem Lutheran Church to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Bob and Dode guided and cared for countless young adults. They opened their home to nurture many foster children and hosted daughter Lauren through the AFS (American Field Service) program when she arrived from Australia for a year in Grand Marais. Many lifelong friendships resulted from their travels to Trinidad, sharing cultures and faith over the miles. Closer to home, Amish friends have widened their circle of family. Dode’s arms were always open to graciously welcome others into their home and heart. She had a gift for bringing people together – for welcoming all to sing, pray, worship, and gather.

Dode was an avid sports fan, an interest sparked by her dad. Other than the Vikings and Twins, her favorite team was the Duke Bluedevils, with Coach K at the helm. She always enjoyed asking, “What did you think about the game?” Most of all, she relished the opportunity to don team colors and support the grands and great-grands in their sports – hockey, basketball, volleyball, football, t-ball, and soccer! There were many hours spent on bleachers!

Growing up on the farm inspired her to assemble local growers to begin the Mabel Farmer’s Market several years ago. While living in Duluth, Dode was involved with CHUM (Central Hillside United Ministries) as well as various organizations striving for equity and justice.

Dode’s creativity flourished in her writing. In the past couple of years, she spearheaded the research, writing, and creation of a beautiful book, Once Upon a Town – The History of Mabel, MN 1879-2019. Another passion was reading. How she delighted in reading books with her grandchildren! In 1974, she created the “Book Club” with a close group of friends from Grand Marais who gathered weekly to read and discuss books of all genres. The group later became known as “the Bookies” and still meet to this day. They published a cookbook with appreciation to Dode for “starting us on the path of food for thought.” Her influence and impact on others through the years will continue to flourish in the many lives she has touched.

Dode loved cooking, baking….and sharing! When visitors arrived, they would always be treated to a smorgasbord of snacks and treats. Her grands and great-grands fondly remember making ice cream together, enjoying s’mores at the cabin, and all of the special Norwegian delights – rommegrot, sandbakkels, and rosettes she so lovingly prepared.

Dorothy is survived by her husband Pastor Robert (Bob) Stoskopf of Mabel, MN, daughters Jana (Jim) Southwick of Rochester, MN and Jennifer (Tim) LaMaster of Duluth, MN, grandchildren Meghann (Logan), Zachary (Hannah), Hanna (Chris), Luke, Ben, and great-grandchildren Declan and Bekam. She is preceded in death by her parents, Verna (Hagen) and Vernon Erickson.

A celebration of life will be Sunday, August 28 at 1:00 PM at Scheie Lutheran Church, Mabel, MN. Visitation will begin at noon. A luncheon will follow the service. All are welcome! Internment will follow at a later date.

Suggested memorial designations: Lutheran World Relief (LWR), Chaguanas, Trinidad Ministries, or as family wishes.

The family extends special thanks to Cook County Dispatch and the ER staff at North Shore Health, Grand Marais, MN. Their hearts are full of appreciation for the staff at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth – especially to the Hospice care team, many of whom commented on the aura of love and peace in Dode’s hospital room. The family was lifted by visits, messages, and calls from extended loved ones near and far while Dode was gifting them with precious time and memories.

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