Patricia Ann Juusola, age 72, of Litchfield, died Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at the St. Cloud Hospital.
She was born Feb. 3, 1945, in St. Peter, the daughter of Clayton and Mabel (Fortier) Ziegler. Pat was baptized at the Belgrade Township Catholic Church near St. Peter, and confirmed at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Waseca.
Patricia grew up in Mapleton and Waseca, before moving to the Litchfield area in ninth grade. She graduated from Litchfield High School in 1962.
She then worked in the Minneapolis area until she was united in marriage to John Juusola Feb. 29, 1964, in Cokato. The couple made their home on a dairy farm near Kingston for 29 years.
After retiring from dairy farming in 1993, they moved to a farm just three miles down the road, where they have continued to live.
Pat partnered with John, her husband of 53 years, in creating a successful farming operation. She played an active role in all things farming, from milking cows, to taking care of the financial records.
She was also employed for 10 years as the manager of the Tom Thumb stores in both Dassel and Litchfield. While a manager at Tom Thumb, she touched the lives of many who learned how to get the to-do list done right. Her regulars enjoyed coming in to see her daily.
Pat retired in February 2015 from American Spirit in Howard Lake, where she had been employed as a bookkeeper for 11 years.
She had been an active member of the Swan Lake Lutheran Church, where she served on the church council as the Swan Lake Church representative when the congregation became part of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel. She was presently a member of the Gethsemane Lutheran Church at the time of her death.
Pat took great pride in making sure everything looked good on the farm and in the house. She worked hard inside and outside so things looked just right. Whether it was her flower garden, the lawn, or the kitchen, she liked things neat and organized.
Pat enjoyed watching all Minnesota sports, but was partial the Timberwolves, especially back when Kevin Garnett played here.
Pat and John belonged to a neighborhood card club for 42 years. They also enjoyed snowmobiling for many years. In more recent years, a trip to the casino every now and then was also something they enjoyed doing together, as well as the occasional “drive by” vacation.
Pat’s greatest joy was time spent with her grandchildren. From making pizza hot dish, lighting firecrackers, and driving the 3-wheeler, the love she had for them was evident to anyone who knew her.
The gifts she has given her family are beyond measure. The strength, love, and faith she had for each one will be a part of her everlasting legacy. Pat’s ability to tell a good story, and her contagious positive outlook will be missed by family and friends.
She is survived by her husband, John, of Litchfield; her daughters, Brenda (Jeff) Gigstad of Burnsville, Julie (Kurt) Schimek of Willmar, and Linda (David) Hoffmann of Starbuck; nine grandchildren, Adam Gigstad (Jill Manzo), Cole Schimek, Ryan Gigstad, Alex Schimek, Tricia Gigstad, Julia Hoffmann, Hannah Hoffmann, Luke Schimek and Andrew Hoffmann; and siblings Renee’ (Bill) Statham of Mankato, Janet Rau of Buffalo, Jim (Marcia) Ziegler of Darwin, and Mike (Bev) Ziegler of Litchfield.
Pat was preceded in death by her infant son, Bradley John Juusola; her parents, Clayton and Mabel Ziegler; a brother, Mark Ziegler; father- and mother-in-law, Arnold and Emma Juusola; and sister-in-law, Sally (Norman) Haag.
A memorial service took place Thursday, Oct. 26 at 11 a.m. at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel with the Rev. Laurie O’Shea officiating. Interment was at the Swan Lake Cemetery following the service.
There was a time to gather with the family Wednesday evening, Oct. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel, and continuing Thursday at the church, one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.