Lois Juntunen, 83, passed away Saturday evening, January 15, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just a week before. She spent her final days in hospice, surrounded by all her children, grand and great grandchildren, who played and sang her favorite songs, held her hand, prayed for her and surrounded her with love. Lois was born September 16, 1938 to Helen and Stephen Tougas, the oldest of 6 siblings. She spoke fondly of her early days on the farm, eating fresh healthy farm-raised foods, attending country school and spending alot of time with immediate and extended family. After attending business school, at 20, she married Rodney Gordon and gave birth to five children. The family’s early days were in Minneapolis where Rodney finished his engineering degree while Lois and her three girls (Jill, Kelly and Cindy) hung out in the University Quonset Huts. They moved to South Dakota for Rodney’s first job where both Dan and Jennifer were born. The family later moved to Brainerd, where Lois worked hard to raise her five children. She always said that family was most important to her. We all learned so much from her about hard work and the importance of family, among many other things. Lois married Leonard Juntunen in 1979. They spent much of their time at their lake home on North Long Lake where Lois loved to plant flowers, walk and rollerblade the Paul Bunyan Trail (she could rollerblade 7 miles, all the way to Nisswa and back), bowl and play bridge with friends and entertain children and grandchildren who loved playing at the lake. Lois was an avid knitter, quilter, reader and card player. She attended and was an active volunteer at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brainerd. She knitted small afghans and played rummy 500 to her final days. In her last few years, she moved to Duluth to spend more time with family where she loved watching the waves and dipping her toes in the big lake (“I understand why they call it Superior”), sipping a cold beer in Jennifer’s backyard and hanging out with all her family. We love and will miss her very much!
Lois is survived by 4 of her siblings, 5 children, 9 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, 3 stepchildren and their children and grand grandchildren: Parents Stephen and Helen Tougas (both deceased); Steve Tougas (brother) and sisters, Valerie, Beverly and Lorena (Robert Tougas deceased); Children: Jill Lehnen and her family, Joshua Lehnen, Karlie Stumpf (husband, Scott Stumpf and children Abel and Elliot), Cristina Kota (husband Suveer Kota and children Kylie, Odin and Harrison); Kelly Gordon (Isaac Gordon-Surma); Cindy Gordon (husband Steve Smith, stepchildren, Alex, Adison, Becca and Erin Harbeck (husband Matthew and children Isabella, Brynn and Vienne); Dan Gordon (wife Marie and children Daniel, Kenneth (Rylie), Emma and Connor); Jennifer Gordon (Fiona Gordon Comb); Husband, Leonard Juntunen (deceased) and stepchildren William Juntunen, Laurie Dechaine, Patty Burchill (deceased) and Cathy Juntunen and their children.
Lois’ service will be held in Brainerd, Minnesota at the Nelson Doran Funeral Home on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at 11 a.m. Friends and family are invited to gather for one hour prior to the service. There will be a celebration of life in late spring or early summer
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