Dolores Marie Pokela, 87, of St. Cloud, Minn., passed away May 23, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. Dolores was born February 5, 1926, in Prentice, Wisc., the daughter of Mark and Grace (Hoffman) Curtis. Dolores married Arne Pokela, of Brantwood, Wisc., in 1944. Dolores was preceded in death by Arne after 60 years of marriage.
During World War II, Dolores worked in Chicago as a “Rosie the Riveter” prior to marrying Arne. She spent the next thirty years primarily raising her seven children, but also helped Arne with his insurance business for many years. Over the years, they lived in Prentice, Wisc., Two Harbors, Minn., Sioux Falls, S.D., and St. Cloud, Minn.
After raising her family, Dolores was the first woman to graduate from St. Cloud Technical College’s carpentry school in the mid-1970s. She loved theater, and volunteered on stage set construction, as well as on the board of directors of the former County Stearns Theater. She also started and ran a number of small businesses. Dolores loved spending time with her many friends, especially playing bridge. Dolores and Arne loved to travel, attended many elderhostels, and travelled abroad. They also spent many winters in Florida and Arizona, making many life-long friends wherever they went.
Dolores & Arne raised a loving and close family of seven children: Tom Pokela (Darla), Sioux Falls, S.D.; Christine Schonning (Bill), Andover, Minn.; Julie Pokela (Liz Denny), Florence, Mass.; Beth Pokela (Tom Porter), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Deb Sheldon (John), Litchfield, Minn.; Jim Pokela (Vicki Violet), Anoka, Minn.; Barb Pokela (Berny Ackley), Minneapolis, Minn. She was very proud of her 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind many beloved relatives and friends.
Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 7 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in St. Cloud, with services at 10:30 a .m.
Arrangements with Miller-Carlin Funeral Home, St. Cloud.