Linnea Sue (Duff) Strottmann (64) passed away on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at her Omaha, Nebraska residence. She succumbed to metastatic triple negative Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). She battled with Finnish “sisu.” From that culture, the term "sisu" - meaning true grit, determination and sustaining courage - described her well throughout adulthood. Her valiant fight versus IBC began near the onset of the COVID pandemic. IBC is a rare and aggressive cancer that is incurable and accounts for only about 1% of all breast cancers. Due to COVID protocols, Linnea was unable to travel to Houston, Texas for a second opinion with the IBC specialists at MD Anderson Cancer Center until October 2020.
Linnea was born on June 29, 1956 to Russell B. and Susanna M. (Pakkala) Duff in Cottonwood, Idaho. The second of the four beautiful Duff girls and she was raised primarily in Orofino, Idaho. During her high school years, Linnea worked at the Rex Theatre. Linnea graduated from Orofino High School in 1974. In 1975, she completed the professional office practice program at nearby Lewis-Clark State College (ID). Shortly thereafter, she began working at Western Appraisals & Surveys in Lewiston, Idaho as a commercial real estate appraisal report typist until 1992. Linnea was an exceptional typist (140 WMP) who enjoyed office work, office technology, and bookkeeping. She loved proofreading and typing appraisal reports using a Dictaphone and an IBM Selectric typewriter before word processors – the more complicated and longer – all the better! She was an outgoing, friendly, and cheerful person which endeared her to co-workers. Linnea loved people and never met a stranger.
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, Washington; and later in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. On October 30, 2000, her husband loaded up the family and moved to Omaha.
Linnea loved living and life with her husband, children, and three granddaughters. She enjoyed her extended Idaho vacations visiting family; and since February 2012, numerous road trips to Houston and Waco, Texas. Linnea was a devoted mother and raised her five children to the best of her ability despite challenging medical conditions throughout adulthood. She took pleasure in being a homemaker, grandmother, and caregiver. She was an avid reader, especially the KJV Bible. While in Omaha, Linnea was blessed to be a homeschool mom, hockey and Eagle Scout mom. Upon relocating to Omaha, she was baptized into membership at Westside Baptist Church. Linnea was active in the church’s ladies Bible study groups. Linnea believed that she was one of the elect and knew the Lord. She had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Finally, Linnea is now pain free after many years, with her Savior.
Linnea's Finnish heritage and her parents’ Iron County, Michigan roots were a source of pride. She excelled at making traditional U.P. (Cornish) Pasties from a recipe passed down from her Mother and Grandmother Hilma Pakkala. Linnea was also a proud USC Trojan and Baylor University Bear Mom.
Linnea is survived by her husband. She also left behind three children from a prior marriage to Mike Spinella: Joseph N. Spinella; Kara L. Spinella (John Owens) and her daughters (Taylor, Hailey, Olivia) all of Gresham, Oregon; and Matthew D. Spinella in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also surviving 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, Washington also survive. Additionally, many beloved nephews, nieces, cousins; and uncles Jack A. (Sharon) Pakkala and Michael Pakkala survive. Linnea’s parents and an uncle Joseph V. Pakkala predeceased her.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 am, Monday, May 3, 2021 at the Reichmuth Funeral Home in Elkhorn, NE.
A private graveside service will be held at the Moscow Cemetery in Moscow, ID under the direction of the Short’s Funeral Chapel of Moscow.
A Celebration of Life will begin at 4:00 P.M.at Sunset Park, 2602 11th Avenue in Lewiston, ID. All are welcome.
For his extraordinary care of Linnea, the family would like to thank Dr. Anthony Lucci, her surgeon at MD Anderson.
To send flowers to Linnea's family, please visit our floral store.