Mankato State University Emeritus Professor Hilja Karvonen, age 95, of Mankato, formerly of Kingston, died Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at Immanuel-St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mankato.
Hilja was born Oct. 8, 1917, in Kingston.
She married Paul Karvonen Aug. 2, 1937, and they raised four children.
From 1952 to 1957, they were missionaries in Tanganyika (now Tanzania).
Hilja attended Suomi College, Western Illinois University (bachelor of arts degree), University of Iowa (master’s degree), and University of Minnesota (post-graduate work in English and linguistics).
Her teaching career included Alpine High School in Alpine, TX; Mankato State University’s Wilson Campus School; and Mankato State University, where she received a distinguished teaching award.
Hilja is survived by her children, David (Joanne), Daniel, and Kathryn (Craig) Frye; a sister, Ruth Ollila; 13 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Paul; a son, Thomas; grandson Stephen; and siblings Evert Pousi, Ellen Raatikka, and Martha Ahola.
Services took place Thursday, Dec. 27 at 11 a.m. at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Mankato, with visitation at 10 a.m. Memorials are preferred to Hilja’s church, Galcom International, or Helps International.