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Leonard W. Kuismi

Leonard W. Kuismi, 90, a lifetime Menahga area resident, was promoted into eternal life at his home surrounded by his loved ones Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.

Leonard was born Jan. 20, 1923 to William and Saima (Typpo) Kuismi in Westbury. At the age of 4, he moved with his family to a farm west of Menahga. It was in this same area that he attended country school and grew into manhood.

On Dec. 27, 1944, Leonard entered the U.S. Army where he served his country as a member of the Signal Corps in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of World War II. He served in the Philippines and Japan. In March of 1946, Leonard received his honorable discharge and returned to engage in farming with his dad on the family farm.

On April 18, 1954 Leonard was united in marriage to the prettiest gal in Becker County, Luella I. Kyllonen. This union was blessed with five sons and four daughters. The young couple purchased the family farm where Leonard devoted himself to developing a fine herd of dairy cattle and transforming the rugged land into a productive farm.

Leonard was a gifted and self-taught carpenter who built his family's home, dairy barn and all the out buildings on the farm. For many years Leonard and his family raised strawberries, which, they marketed direct to their loyal customers and gave their children some good summer income.

Leonard and Luella loved to travel and visited 48 of the 50 states. They also traveled throughout Canada, Mexico, Russia, Sweden and most importantly, Finland.

In his spare time, Leonard enjoyed working with his hands building furniture for his children and grandchildren. Over the years he built many cedar chests, built-in cabinets, doll cribs and play cupboards.

He loved the outdoors and especially looked forward to hunting and fishing with his family.

He was a man of faith and was a long time member of the Pickerel Lake Apostolic Lutheran Church near Wolf Lake. Above all, Leonard treasured the time spent building memories with his wife, children and grandchildren who he loved with all his heart.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife for the past 59 years, Luella of Menahga; nine children, Judy (Don) Maninga of Menahga, James Kuismi of Menahga, Eva (Kevin) York of Frazee, Jack (Dawn Schuldt) Kuismi of Maple Grove, Dave (Linda) Kuismi of Menahga, Fay (Leonard) Kirscht of Rogers, Don (Cindy) Kuismi of Evansville, Lora (David Dixon) Kuismi of Kimball and Fred (Angie) Kuismi of Eden Prairie; 13 beloved grandchildren and six precious great-grandchildren; two sisters, Irene (Floyd) Harvala and Ellen Santi all of Menahga; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Leonard was preceded in death by three brothers, Onni and two infants; and four sisters, Martha, Lyyli, Ingrid and Sally.

Funeral service: 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the Pickerel Lake Apostolic Lutheran Church near Wolf Lake with James Yliniemi officiating.

Casketbearers: his sons and sons-in-law, James Kuismi, Jack Kuismi, Dave Kuismi, Don Kuismi, Fred Kuismi, Don Maninga, Kevin York, Leonard Kirscht and David Dixon.

Honorary casketbearers: his daughters and daughters-in-law, Judy Maninga, Eva York, Lora Kuismi, Fay Kirscht, Dawn Schuldt, Linda Kuismi, Cindy Kuismi and Angie Kuismi.

Military honors will be provided by the Guy L. McDermeit V.F.W. Post of Menahga.

Visitation: 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25 at Cardini-Pearson Funeral Home in Menahga and for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Interment: Alajoki Cemetery near Menahga.

Following the funeral a luncheon will be hosted by the Pickerel Lake Apostolic Lutheran Church.

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