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February 11, 1920 ~ January 6, 2024 (age 103) 103 Years Old
The life of Marie Seppa has ended, just shy of her 104th birthday. Her strength, positivity, sense of humor and good genes all likely contributed to her long and inspiring life.
Her life began in Hermiston, Oregon, born to Hannah and Jens Skovbo, immigrants from Sweden and Denmark. She grew up with two brothers, Herb (Gene) and Albert. She helped with the family farm, was a star 4-H Club member, and graduated from Hermiston High School where she was named Queen of the May (homecoming queen).
At age 19 she moved to San Francisco, and worked as a secretary at Western Union Railroad. In the city she met Emil Seppa. They married there and later settled in Penngrove where Emil grew up. They built a house across the field from her in-laws, Matti and Eva Seppa, both Finnish immigrants, and lived there 44 years before moving to Santa Rosa and then Rohnert Park.
Family was extremely important to her, and that included extended family reunions with the Danish and Finnish relatives, often in Oregon or Washington. She wanted to be sure family knew "where they came from" and their Scandinavian heritage.
She was hard-working, and took pride in being a good housewife and raising four children—Dean, Don, Karen and Janet. Along the way she took on part-time or at-home paid jobs, from secretarial to drapery making, millinery, teacher's aide, census worker, and apartment property manager.
Her passion was gardening both flowers and vegetables, and she attacked weeds with a vengeance, wearing out a hoe or two down to the handle. Her talents and interests were many—from painting, knitting, crocheting, weaving, pottery, floral design, arts and crafts, attending church and Bible studies, and doing Soduku/crossword puzzles. She baked a thousand Christmas cookies each year for family and friends, presented in repurposed and decorated coffee cans, which were plentiful as Marie loved drinking her coffee!
She and Emil enjoyed traveling, especially Finland and Hawaii, and at age 85 Marie even went on a group tour to China.
Growing up, she was an award-winning 4-Her, and continued her love of the program as a 4-H Club leader in Sonoma County for many years, teaching cooking and canning, and encouraging all four of her kids to excel with their projects. Later she continued to win blue ribbons for her canned fruit and baked goods (including her famous biscotti) at Sonoma County fairs.
Marie was a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend who will be long remembered. She is survived by son Don Seppa (Gina), daughter Karen Seppa Nordstrand, daughter Janet Seppa Libarle (Jeff), and daughter-in-law Stephanie Barboni Seppa; her grandchildren Midori Seppa (Greg), Andre Libarle (Desiree), Mikkel Libarle (Lindsay), Leila Seppa (Ary), Elisa Seppa, Cristin Seppa, Haley Seppa (Stevie), Erik Nordstrand; and great-grandchildren Caelyn, Isadora, Tobin, Dante, Averi, and Noe.
Marie was predeceased by Emil to whom she was married 58 years, and son Dean. A private family memorial will be held later.
The family suggests that donations in honor of her memory go to Providence Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma, Ca 94952