Melva Matilda Strom, of Mora, died on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at her home. She was 91 years old.

She was born Aug. 26, 1928, near Menahga, to Matilda and August Lempiainen. She was one of six siblings which included a twin brother, Melvin, a brother, George and sisters, Ellen, Lila and Darlene. 

After her mother’s death when Melva was 6, she and her sisters lived briefly with relatives, then were separated and lived in an orphanage and foster homes while her brothers remained at home to help run the farm. The family was able to stay in contact through the years.

She attended Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, graduating in 1946. She accepted Jesus as her savior as a teenager and attended Grace Baptist Church in Minneapolis where she later met her husband Dennis. The two were united in marriage in 1950 and had two children, Bonnie and Randy.

In 1957, they moved to Mora and purchased property near Knife Lake where they lived the rest of their lives. She worked for the Mora Public Schools for 28 years as a secretary, retiring in 1993. She and her husband were active members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Mora, leading youth groups, involved with the bus outreach ministry and hosting church picnics.

She was interested in history and enjoyed reading, poetry and music. She remained well informed about current events and politics to the end of her life.

She was preceded in death by husband, Dennis; sister, Ellen Mahon; twin brother, Melvin Lempiainen; and great-granddaughter, Wesley Strom.

She is survived by daughter, Bonnie (Todd) Ascher; son, Randy (Sherry) Strom; sisters, Lila Grider and Darlene Ballard; brother, George Lempiainen; six grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

 A private family graveside service and burial was held at the Oakwood Cemetery in Mora. Arrangements are by the Akkerman Ingebrand Funeral Home of Mora. Condolences may be posted at


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