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Monika Linnea "Mogi" Lindqvist


1941 - 2019
Monika Linnea "Mogi" Lindqvist Obituary
Monika Linnea "Mogi" Lindqvist passed away on November 11, 2019, at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California. She was 78. Monika was born on September 17, 1941, on the tiny island of Korpo, in Finland's Swedish-speaking archipelago in the middle of the Baltic Sea, during wartime. She was raised in a parsonage on a farm that her Lutheran pastor father cultivated. She was the third of eight children and the eldest daughter. At 17, she won a scholarship to study abroad at a high school in Virginia, Minnesota, from 1959-1960, and attended the prom with a smitten young American, Jerry Wiljanen. She returned to Finland to earn a degree in international business and languages at bo Akademi in Turku, then worked as a nurse's aide in Germany and an au pair in Belgium to achieve fluency in German and French. She traveled widely, eventually reconnected with her high school prom date, and agreed to marry him in 1965. (They divorced in 1993.) The couple first settled in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she worked as an executive secretary and translator for the 3M Corporation. Two years later, they relocated to Redondo Beach, California for Jerry's work. Their two children, Ursula and Joel, were born shortly thereafter. The family belonged to Vasa Lodge, a local Swedish-American cultural organization, and the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Torrance, where Monika was an active member for nearly 50 years. While her children were growing up, Monika taught preschool at the church, as well as Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She was a Girl Scout leader for 15 years, mentoring her daughter's peer group from Brownies through Senior Scouts and helping them fundraise for and plan a six-week trip to Europe when they graduated from high school in 1986. While her children were in high school, she studied nursing at El Camino College, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in 1985. She loved nursing and had many roles, from delivering babies to helping people recover from surgery. Her skills in starting an IV were legendary. She worked at Little Company of Mary Hospital and Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance as well as Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital in Marina del Rey. The onset of Parkinson's disease forced an early retirement from the profession she loved, and so she redirected her boundless energy toward advocating for fellow "Parkinsonians," leading exercise groups and organizing educational and social events for her group for nearly 20 years. A lifelong love of travel and adventure took her all over the world, from India to Honduras. She also visited her family and friends in Scandinavia as often as she could. A farmer's daughter, she grew an abundance of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers in her verdant garden, where she loved hosting friends. All who knew her remember her parties, from gingerbread house decorating at Christmas, to extravagant birthday blowouts, when she decked out her yard in Viking longships and papier mache horses and brought in live Polynesian dance troupes and fire eaters. In the final years of her life, she harvested passion fruit from the vines surrounding her yard to make countless jars of homemade jelly, which she sold through her church to benefit hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is survived by her daughter, Ursula Lindqvist, of St. Peter, Minn., and her husband, Remo Alexandri, of Fairfax, Va.; her son, Joel Wiljanen, and his wife, Heidi, of Sammamish, Wash.; two grandsons, Benjamin and Luke Wiljanen, of Sammamish, Wash.; a granddaughter, Anabelle Alexandri, of St. Peter, Minn.; two sisters, Tettan Lindqvist of Pargas, Finland, and Barbro N„se of Karis, Finland; four brothers, Jan-Erik Lindqvist of Helsinki, Finland, Trygve Lindqvist and Vidar Lindqvist of Eken„s, Finland, and Ingmar Lindqvist of Esbo, Finland; along with many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her father, Sven Erik Lindqvist, and her mother, Anna Linnea (Borg) Lindqvist, of Eken„s, Finland, and her brother, Rune Lindqvist, of Pargas, Finland. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, January 18, at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Torrance, California. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Parkinson's Foundation (https://parkinsonfoundation.org/).
Published in Daily Breeze on Nov. 20, 2019
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