LITTLE FALLS — Louis “Louie” Filippi, age 91, of Little Falls, Minn., passed away Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls, Minn., with the Rev. Nick Landsberger officiating. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Friends may gather from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service in Little Falls, Minn., and from 9:30-11 a.m. on Thursday at the funeral home. The Daughters of Isabella will pray the rosary at 4:30 p.m. followed by Parish Prayers at 5 p.m. Military rites will be conducted the Little Falls American Legion Post No. 46 and the Little Falls VFW Post No. 1112.
Louis (Louie) Filippi was born on March 1, 1920, to Pietro and Giovina Filippi. A Keewatin native, Louie grew up in and loved the Iron Range. After high school, Louie moved to St. Cloud where he attended St. Cloud State University from 1939-1943. Here he was named Little All-American in football, St. Cloud State’s first student ever to achieve this status. In 1941, he was named Most Valuable Player in the conference. He was not only a gifted football player, but he also played basketball, baseball and ran hurdles in track. In addition to earning his degree in education, he earned 14 varsity letters during his college career. Upon graduation, Louie was offered a contract to play football for the Philadelphia Eagles, which he declined due to his military service. Louie proudly served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy until 1946, after which he began his career in education when he joined the teaching and coaching staff in Little Falls, where he taught Industrial Education for 39 years. He found joy and fulfillment working with children and was named Minnesota Industrial Arts Teacher of the Year in 1973. His love of sports didn’t end at college. Louie managed and coached the Little Falls Red Sox Amateur Baseball team in the late 1940s and 1950s, refereed State Basketball Tournaments and was a Big Ten Basketball Conference referee for 11 years. Later, Louie was the first inductee in the Keewatin High School, the Little Falls High School and the St. Cloud State University Athletic Hall of Fames. Louie’s interests reached far beyond sports. He will be remembered for his passion for the youth and elderly of the community. He had contributed countless hours of volunteer work for many organizations, including organizing Christmas parties for the needy, summer programs for the handicapped and serving on the Advisory Board of St. Otto’s Home for over 20 years. Louie received numerous service awards for his contributions, to include Minnesota Power and Light Private Enterprise Award, Little Falls VFW Auxiliary Award for Youth Commitment, Jaycees Distinguished Service Award and the Initial Exchange Club’s Book of Golden Deeds Award. As a committed community member, Louie was member of the VFW, American Legion, 40 & 8, Moose Lodge, Member of the Governor’s Council of Aging, Jaycees, Morrison County DFL Chairman, Child Welfare Chairman, and various teaching organizations. It is no secret that Louie had a passion for hunting and fishing. He loved to spend time at the boxcar hunting and being with nature, which he did well into his 80s. Too, he was an avid fisherman who spent hours on the lake, summer or winter, rain or shine. When Louie retired from hunting and fishing, he waited anxiously for one of his boys to call him with the hunting or fishing report. In 1962 Louie married Mary Jean Kaiser. Together, they resided in Little Falls for the duration of their marriage, where they raised their six children. Louie was a devout Catholic, who belonged to St. Mary’s Church, and a strong family man who loved his wife, children and grandchildren immensely. Remembering him as a loving husband, father and grandfather are his wife of 49 years, Mary Jean, of Little Falls; children, Mary Jo (Tommy), of Hibbing, Peter (Tammy), of Baxter, Larry (Tammy), of Little Falls, John (Sarah), of Little Falls, Michael (special friend, Heather), of Little Falls, and Mario, of Little Falls; grandchildren, Michael Sullivan, Mario Filippi, Sophia Sullivan, Ava Filippi, Paul Filippi, Matt Filippi, Abigail Sullivan, Hudson Filippi and Ashlyn Filippi.
Memorials are preferred to the Louis “Louie” Filippi Scholarship fund, c/o Mary Jean Filippi.
Arrangements are pending with Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service in Little Falls, Minn.