Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” After celebrating his sixtieth wedding anniversary with wife Helen (Christofferson), Albert Arthur (Johnson) Toriseva went home to be with the Lord on Sept. 8th, 2020.
He was born in Kintyre, in Kidder County, North Dakota on April 27, 1937, to Annie (Boatz) Johnson and Emil Hjalmer Toriseva Johnson. His father immigrated from Finland in 1902 with his two brothers. Upon arrival, they were given different last names. Later, relatives in Finland asked their American cousins to re-take their original last name so that it would be continued. Al legally changed his family’s names back to Toriseva in 1981.
Al’s family moved to Northern Minnesota in 1937 when he was four months old. He attended grades 1-8 in Palisade and grades 9-12 in Aitkin High School. He graduated from Aitkin in 1955. Al was in the United States Army from 1956-58, and graduated from Bemidji State College with a teaching degree in 1960. From 1960 to 1964, he taught sixth grade in Hibbing. He earned his master’s from the University of Minnesota in 1965.
In 1964, he began teaching science at the laboratory school at Bemidji State College until July of 1965, when he became the elementary principal and wrestling coach at Bagley, Minnesota. He received his specialist degree from St. Cloud State University in 1978. He remained at Bagley Public Schools until retiring in 1992 as superintendent. Albert loved God, his wife and family. He also enjoyed being a soldier, a football player, a rancher, a teacher, a coach, an administrator, a businessman, a father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather.
Albert is survived by wife, Helen; daughters: JoNelle, Julia (Andy) Simons, Jerianne (Jason) Moen; and sons, Steve (Liane) and Paul (Amber). He has thirteen grandchildren: Chantell (Zachary) Hatfield, Cameron (Joseph) Obrokta, Adam Toriseva, Jacob Toriseva, Jaelen Moen, Gabriella Toriseva, Jenika Moen, Tori Toriseva, Sydney Toriseva, Emma Toriseva, Madyson Drosieko, Lauryn Toriseva, and Jackson Moen; and two great-grandchildren, Asher Obrokta and Asa Hatfield. He is also survived by brother, Roy (Cheryl) Johnson; sister, Shirley (Myron) Myers and many nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Henry (Betty) Johnson; infant brother, Karl Oscar and two sisters, Esther (Floyd) Barry, Edna (Phillip) Spolarich and brother-in-law Myron Myers.
A memorial service will be held when the Canadian border opens so all family and friends will be able to attend. The service will be held with Pastor Larry Dorman of Country Faith Church and Rev. Mark Olson of Faith Lutheran Church presiding.
The family wishes to extend their deepest gratitude to the Sanford Clinic doctors for their many years of excellent care to Al and his family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you plant a tree. The family would like to share a quote from Albert’s favorite writer, Louis L’Amour, “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”
Messages of condolence may be sent to ceasefuneralhome.com.