Linnea Sue (Duff) Strottmann | Obituaries

Linnea Sue (Duff) Strottmann, 64, passed away Tuesday April 27, 2021 in her hometown in Omaha, Neb. She succumbed to metastatic triple negative inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).

She fought with the Finnish ‘sisu’. From that culture, the term ‘sisu’ – meaning real perseverance, determination, and enduring courage – described her well during adulthood. Her brave fight against IBC began towards the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. IBC is a rare and aggressive cancer that is incurable and represents only about 1 percent of all breast cancers. Due to COVID-19 protocols, Linnea was unable to travel to Houston until October 2020 for a second opinion with the MD Anderson Cancer Center IBC specialists.

Linnea was born on June 29, 1956 to Russell B. and Susanna M. (Pakkala) Duff in Cottonwood, the second of the four beautiful Duff girls, and she grew up mainly in Orofino. During her high school days, Linnea worked at the Rex Theater. Linnea graduated from Orofino High School in 1974. In 1975 she completed the professional office practice program at nearby Lewis-Clark State College. Shortly afterwards, she started working at Western Appraisals & Surveys in Lewiston as a typist on commercial property appraisal reports until 1992. Linnea was an exceptional typist (140 words per minute) who loved office work, office technology and bookkeeping. She liked proofreading and typing assessment reports with a dictaphone and IBM Selectric typewriter before word processors – the more complicated and longer – the better. She was an outgoing, friendly and cheerful person, which endeared her to her colleagues. Linnea loved people and never met a stranger.

From 1979 to 1985, Linnea was blessed with three children. In 1986 she became a single mother who loved to take care of them and give them everything she could. She surrounded them with the families of her parents and sisters, creating memories that she cherished. She was proud of the achievements of her five children and granddaughters and looked forward to everything the future had to offer.

Linnea married Steven Strottmann on October 2, 1992 in Carson City, Nevada. Together they had two boys. During the early years of their marriage, they called the beautiful Inland Northwest home, living in Spokane and Pullman, and later in Coeur d’Alene. On October 30, 2000, her husband recharged the family and moved to Omaha.

Linnea loved to live and live with her husband, children and three granddaughters. She enjoyed her long vacations in Idaho to visit family, and countless road trips to Houston and Waco, Texas since February 2012. Linnea was a devoted mother and raised her five children to the best of her ability, despite the difficult medical conditions during adulthood. She loved being a housewife, grandmother, and caretaker. She was an avid reader, especially the KJV Bible. While in Omaha, Linnea was blessed as a home school, hockey, and Eagle Scout mom. When she moved to Omaha, she was baptized as a member of the Westside Baptist Church. Linnea was active in the ladies’ Bible study groups of the Church. Linnea believed she was one of the chosen ones and knew the Lord. She had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Finally Linnea is now pain free with her Savior after many years.

Linnea’s Finnish ancestry and her parents’ roots in Iron County, Michigan were a source of pride. She excelled at making traditional UP (Cornish) pasties according to a recipe passed down from her mother and grandmother Hilma Pakkala. Linnea was also a proud USC Trojan and a mother of Baylor University Bear.

Linnea is survived by her husband. She also left behind three children from a previous marriage to Mike Spinella: Joseph N. Spinella; Kara L. Spinella (John Owens) and her daughters Taylor, Hailey, Olivia, all of Gresham, Ore .; and Matthew D. Spinella, in Las Vegas. Also survivors are sons Erik S. Strottmann (Schessa Garbutt), in Inglewood, California, and Carl D. Strottmann, in Omaha. Her sisters Terri (Gary) Picone, in Lewiston; Julie (Troy Townsend) McCoy, in Coeur d’Alene; and Ila Duff, in Clarkston, also survive. Additionally, many beloved nephews, nieces, nephews, and uncles Jack A. (Sharon) Pakkala and Michael Pakkala survive. Linnea’s parents and uncle Joseph V. Pakkala had died for her.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on May 3 at the Reichmuth Funeral Home in Elkhorn, Neb. Visit was held from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm on May 2 at the funeral home. A Celebration of Life will be held at 4:00 pm on May 8 at Sunset Park, 2602 11th Ave., Lewiston.

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