Velda Irene Wynia, age 91, of Cokato, died Monday, May 18, 2009, at the Cokato Manor .
She was born to Alvin (Pappy) and Opal (Davis) White Feb. 4, 1918, in the small northwest Iowa town of Ireton. Velda had five sisters: Ellen, Madge, Margaret, Ruth (who died at age 5), and Amber; and one brother, William (Bill), who all preceded her in death.
Educated in the Ireton public schools, Velda graduated in 1936, and after further education at Iowa State Teacher’s College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, she taught in a rural school in Sheldon, IA, along with her older sister, Ellen.
She met Jacob Wynia at a Hector, MN church convention, and they married March 1, 1939. They first lived in Slayton, IA, where Jake operated a service station, and their first son, Harold James, was born Feb. 21, 1940.
In the later part of 1940, they moved to Minneapolis, where Jake continued his auto mechanic work at Northside Motors. Their second son, Larry LeRoy, was born Nov. 20, 1944.
At WWII’s end, Jake became the head mechanic for Gebo Motors, a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership in Cokato, where the family moved in 1946. Their youngest child, Julie Ann, was born Oct. 30, 1954.
Velda worked as bookkeeper at Jake’s Cities Service gas station, and later at the Cokato Motor Sales Chevy garage, where Jake was co-partner with Howard Hess. She took many classes and received many certificates of achievement from General Motors.
Velda loved playing the piano and organ, singing, playing games with her grandkids, and was a good friend to many for over 60 years.
Jake died of brain cancer in 1973, and Velda was widowed for 36 years. She lived at Cokato Apartments 2, Brookridge Assisted Living, and the Cokato Manor Care Center, while facing health issues secondary to diabetes and dementia.
Velda leaves a legacy of three children: Harold (Elsie) Wynia of Shoreview, Larry (Doris) Wynia of South Haven, and Julie (Dale) Burau of Howard Lake; nine grandchildren, Jeffrey (Kirsten) Wynia of W. Lakeland, Jennifer (Paul) Hansen of Ham Lake, Jonathon (Amy) Wynia of New Brighton, Jody Irene (Aaron) Boyd of Shoreview, Lisa (Randy) Knick of Big Lake, Chad (Debbie) Wynia of Chisago City, Heather (Phil) Neenan of NE Minneapolis, April (Christian) Wood of Greenfield, WI, and Kyle Danielson of Superior, WI; three step-grandchildren, Chad (Kelli) Burau of Howard Lake, Troy (Celeste) Burau of Rogers, and Ross (Anne) Burau of St. Cloud; and 19 great-grandchildren, with one other soon arriving.
The funeral service took place Friday, May 22 at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Cokato, with the Rev. Danville Swanson officiating. Music was provided by Velda’s grandchildren, Paul Hansen, and Bonnie Johnson. Interment was in the church cemetery.
Visitation was Thursday, May 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato, and continued Friday one hour prior to the service at the church.
Casket bearers were Kyle Danielson, Sawyer Knick, Kacedy Hansen, Chad Wynia, Jeff Wynia, and Jonathan Wynia. Honorary casket bearers were Esther Schroeder, Marianne Ness, Norma Nilson, Mayme Martinson, Emma May, and Ruth Poston.
Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.