Toini Johanna Firman 1915 - 2021

Toini Johanna Firman, age 106, of Grand Rapids, MN passed away peacefully surrounded by family, on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at Grand Village in Grand Rapids, MN.  

Johanna was born in 1915 to Richard and Josephina (Maki) Salo in Tamarack, MN. She grew up and attended school in Tamarack. After school she came to Grand Rapids and worked at Cabin City. She later went to work at Redding’s Café where she met Sylvan “Big Red” Firman. They married and raised five children: Jim, Dick, Sue, Bob, and Dave. After Red passed away, Jo did sewing alterations in her home so she could be home for the kids. When the children grew older, she went to work in the kitchen at Murphy Elementary School.

She was a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church and helped with the wedding circle and took care of the altar cloths. She was always willing to watch children, make a meal for someone, or go sit with a shut-in.

There was always “open house” for all the kids in the neighborhood and usually there was something fresh baked to share each day! She was asked how she could stand having so many kids around all the time and she answered, “I knew what you were doing when you were home!”

Jo was preceded in death by her husband; parents; three sisters; one brother; son and daughter-in-law, James and Dottie Firman; two grandchildren, Luke and Kirstin Firman.

She will be missed by her children; Richard (Sally) Firman of Lodi, CA; Suzanne (Gary) Berg of Babbitt, MN; David (Kris) Firman and Robert Firman of Grand Rapids, MN; nine grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren; two sisters; many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be Thursday, October 14, 2021, at 10:00 AM until the 11:00 funeral service at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, MN. Rev. Patrick Lovejoy will officiate. Burial will be at Itasca Calvary Cemetery, Grand Rapids, MN.

Arrangements are with the Libbey Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids, MN. To sign the online guestbook or send condolences visit

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