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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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March 30, 2023

1/27/2023 5:29:00 AM
Lynn Joel Laakso

Lynn Joel Laakso, 73, of Rhinelander, passed away at his home on Wednesday morning, Jan. 18, 2023.

Lynn was born in Kenosha, on June 13, 1949, to Joseph and Lorraine Laakso. Raised in Kenosha, Lynn graduated in 1967 from Kenosha Tremper High School. One of the biggest highlights of Lynn's life was playing the drums while participating in the Racine Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps. He would later become an instructor with them. Lynn had a passion for music which lasted his whole lifetime. It was while playing the drums with the Harvey Nice Band that he met his future wife, Cheryl Kempf. The couple were married in Kenosha at the courthouse on Nov. 30, 1990. The couple lived in Kenosha. While living in Kenosha, they owned The Music Store Inc, which was in Racine. They eventually moved to Mercer, where they owned the Grand Portage Resort for a few years. They sold the resort and opened the Hodag Music Store located on Lincoln Street until 2015.

Lynn was a member of the Church of Christ.

He always enjoyed visiting with other musicians who would come into his music store. But most of all Lynn loved spending time with his family and with his dogs.

Surviving are his children, Angela (Duane) Lucas of Champlin, Minn., and Andrea (Laakso) Maxwell of Rhinelander, five grandsons, Michael McDermott III, Nicholas DeFilippis, Ezekiel Maxwell, Arlo Maxwell, and Uriah Potter, and one great-granddaughter, Dazey Sward. Also surviving are other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Lorraine Laakso, wife Cheryl Laakso on December 5, 2022, son-in-law, William Maxwell, grandson Anthony Sward, and a brother, Don Laakso.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343.

Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

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