Viola M. Gutknecht, age 87, of Fairhaven, died Sunday, March 6, 2022, at her home.
Funeral Services will be held 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 11, 2022 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Fairhaven, with Rev. David Buchs officiating. Burial will follow at Concordia Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service on Friday.
Viola Mae Kantola was born August 19, 1934 in West Albion, Wright County, Minnesota to Richard and Lillian (Tolonen) Kantola. She graduated from Annandale High School in 1952. She furthered her education at St. Cloud State University, graduating with a degree in education in 1955. On July 28, 1956, Vi was united in marriage to Lester W. Gutknecht at the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church in Cokato. Vi taught elementary education in North Branch, St. Cloud, and St. Louis Park, before becoming a stay at home mom, in addition to providing daycare for area children. Vi and Les raised their three children in Crystal, before moving to Fairhaven in 1988. Vi's faith was central to her life. She served her churches as a sunshine leader, in the nursery, as a Sunday school teacher, and a part of the women's guild. She was an active member of Concordia Lutheran Church. Vi enjoyed crafting, quilting, sewing, and embroidery. When her hands were not busy creating, she also liked to do puzzles, read, play cards, and gather genealogy.
Vi is survived by her husband of 65 years, Lester of Fairhaven; children, Diane (James) Anthony of Deer River, Leslie (Steven) Elvert of Rochester, and Larry (Mary) Gutknecht of South Haven; 8 grandchildren, Laura (Dan), Karissa (Scott) Jaana (Tim), Hannah, Jamie, Andi (Devin), Joe (Kelly), and Sarah (Jake); 18 great-grandchildren; brother, Russell (Marlene) Kantola of Annandale; and nieces, nephews, other family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Elsie Newago, Lillian Eleanore Esjornson, and Ethel Bernice Baker.
Vi's grandchildren will serve as casket bearers with Leslie Rose, Duane Dutton, and David Esjornson as honorary bearers. Arrangements entrusted to Dingmann Funeral Care Burial and Cremation Services of Kimball.
Obituary, Guestbook, and Video Tribute online at www.dingmannfuneral.com
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