Patricia “Pat” Kuitunen, age 75, of Cambridge and formerly of Gilbert, passed away November 22, 2018 at home. Funeral services will be held at 6:30 P.M. Thursday, November 29th at Strike Life Tributes in Cambridge. A visitation will be held from 5:00 P.M. until the service starts at 6:30 P.M. Thursday. Interment will be in Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery, Little Falls.
Patricia Ann Kuitunen, age 75, formerly of Gilbert, Minnesota, died on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22, 2018 at home in Cambridge due to liver failure. In hospice care for six weeks prior to her death, she passed peacefully with family and friends at her bedside.
She leaves her husband of 53 years, Edward, daughters Patricia Klaras and Cindy Kuitunen-Crawford, and grandchildren Alayna, Caitlyn, Janel, Matthew and Joshua as well as her youngest sister Nancy Mrosla (Duane) and baby brother Robin Nissinen (Lola). She was preceded in death by her parents Peter and Siiri (Nevalainen) Nissinen, older sister Christine Kuitunen, twin brother Kenneth Nissinen, and younger sister Carol Anderson.
Born in Virginia, Minnesota May 9, 1943 where her father was the contractor of a construction company, Pat’s faith in GOD began as a young girl when they relocated to Mississippi. She and Christine walked a mile and a half each Sunday to the Baptist Church and answered every altar call to give their lives to Jesus. As a young girl living in California, she relied on the LORD’s guidance to provide employment and living space during her junior year of high school. She spent a year sleeping on a cot in a friend’s garage while working from 3pm – midnight every day. She returned to Cook, Minnesota for her senior year of high school longing to be a part of a smaller, tighter knit school system while living with Christine and her family. She thrived as a thespian and loved the drama of school plays while helping raise her three nephews Patrick, Michael, Christopher (deceased) Sarazine and niece Bernice Thoennes (Ron). Upon graduating, Pat enlisted in the United States Women’s Army Corp where she served for two years and related that she typed up the orders for young soldiers being sent to Vietnam. She received an honorable discharge and was proud to be a Veteran.
On May 22, 1965, Pat and Eddie were married after months of exchanging love letters while he (her “dream boat”) was in the United States Navy. She had held onto these precious letters as they were found in her bedside table. She gave birth to two girls whom she referred to lovingly as her “salt and pepper” (blonde and brunette). She taught her daughters to love God with “all their heart, soul and strength” and believed in the power of prayer as she devoted her life to it and kept a journal that expanded over decades. She served faithfully for many years at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Virginia as a Sunday School teacher and in the Kitchen Ministry and became a member of the The Holy Christian Church International in St. Paul in 2014 where she was lovingly known as “Mom”.
Pat was very generous and kind, helping her family and friends in need. She enjoyed the outdoors by golfing and fishing, and served as President of Sweet’s Borden Lake Association in Garrison for many years where she and Ed spent their summers after retiring in 1995. She would take her daughters to pick wild blueberries and baked homemade pies that were devoured within two days. She loved the taste of fresh Walleye from the Northern Lakes and she and Ed were always the couple to watch as they gracefully moved with precision and ease across the dance floor. If you happened to stop by for a visit, she would treat you like royalty by serving coffee in the Fine China Ed purchased in Japan. Her hostess skills were par excellent and she instilled them into her daughters. Pat celebrated large! She adorned her home for every season and Holiday and made every family member’s birthday the most special event.
She adored her grandchildren as they each started life with baby “blankies” handmade by her. She enjoyed playing Domino’s or 5 Crowns with them and always managed to win when she kept score (that topic is still up for discussion). She always looked forward to attending their school events whether it was sports, choir, or band. She wrote in her prayer journal about Alayna being her “special angel” who spent a significant amount of time at the lake with them as a little girl. Caitlyn provided hilarity, teasingly referring to herself as the “favorite granddaughter” which would make her break out into laughter, even just days before she passed. Janel lovingly cared for her Grandmother in her last days, meticulously curling her hair, applying her make-up, feeding her Grandmother some of her last meals. She loved attending Matt’s sporting events being one of his biggest cheerleaders. Joshua was known to give her the best “bear hugs” with his huge heart.
She was the center force that held her family together, frequently sending cards and letters to those who lived afar and she saved all those that were given to her throughout the years. She believed in always looking her best as you would never find her without her “brows” (eyebrows) and a tube of lipstick which she wore right up until her death. She will be greatly missed but will always be seen in the many memories we have of her.
On Thursday, November 29 at Strike Life Tributes in Cambridge, a visitation will be held from 5:00 – 6:30 PM followed by a funeral service at 6:30 PM. Refreshments will be served afterwards. Interment will be in Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery, Little Falls.