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Lillian E. Thune

Lillian Elvina Thune, age 90, of Chandler, AZ, formerly of Cokato, died Monday, Jan. 5, 2009, at Hospice of the Valley in Tempe, AZ after a short illness.

She was born Dec. 9, 1918, in Cokato, a daughter of Alfred and Anna Dahlin. Lillian was baptized and confirmed at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato.

She attended elementary school at Beaver Dam School, a one-room schoolhouse, and graduated from Cokato High School in 1935.

Lillian married Carl Wilbur Thune in 1941. With their daughter, Darleen, they made their home in Cokato. While Carl served in the US Army in England, Lillian and Darleen remained in Cokato.

After Carl passed away in 1964, Lillian continued to live in Cokato, most recently at Cokato Apartments and Edgewood Gables.

Lillian’s interests were varied. She loved sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, and playing the piano. She enjoyed composing musical selections, and designed her own Christmas cards for many years.

Lillian enjoyed playing Scrabble and Rummikube, and very seldom missed watching the Minnesota Twins on TV. She wrote poetry, and had one of her poems, “Memories of the Old Country School,” published in the National Library of Poetry.

Lillian also loved to cook, which led to a catering business with her sister, Milly, for several years. She was also employed at the Cokato Enterprise for nearly 25 years.

Lillian loved spending time with her family, and was especially proud that she had seven great-grandchildren.

Always willing to volunteer her services and share her musical talents with others, Lillian played the piano at many church and Sunday school events, at worship services at the KOA Campground, and at the Cokato Manor. She also volunteered with the Bloodmobile, the Salvation Army, and Meals on Wheels.

A life-long member of the Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lillian participated in Sunday school, Luther League, choir, W/ELCA, quilting group, library board, and Bible study groups. She was also a member of the Cokato Historical Society and of the local American Legion Auxiliary Unit 209 for more than 60 years. Forty of those years, she served as music chairman, for which she won numerous awards.

Lillian moved to Merrill Gardens Retirement Center in Chandler, AZ in July 2008, to be near her family. She made many new friends there and actively participated in many of the activities. She was happy in her new environment, and especially enjoyed watching the birds at the feeder outside her window.

Lillian is survived by her daughter, Darleen (James) Lindstrom of Sun Lakes, AZ; grandson Jeffrey (Laura) Lindstrom of Marego, IL; granddaughter Sara (Ramon) Rubio of Chandler, AZ; great-grandchildren Michelle, Emily, Anna, and Edward Lindstrom, and Teresa, Renee and Amanda Rubio; a sister, Adelyne Lankki of Cokato; and a brother, Ellsworth (Ardelle) Dahlin of St. Michael.

In addition to her husband Carl, she was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Mildred Carlin and Helen Dahlin; a brother, Clarence Dahlin; and half brothers Albin, Arnold, and Oliver Dahlin.

The funeral service took place Sunday, Jan. 11 at 2 p.m. at Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church with the Rev. Steve Thorson officiating. Music was provided by Karen Anderson, Toni Thorson, and Lillian’s great-grandchildren. Interment was in the church cemetery.

Visitation was Saturday, Jan. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Swanson Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.; and continued Sunday for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Casket bearers were Elroy Dahlin, Steve Dahlin, Donald Dahlin, Kurt Dahlin, Gary Lankki, and Greg Thune. Honorary bearers were members of Cokato American Legion Auxiliary Unit 209.

The Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato handled the arrangements.