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Gladys Kariniemi, 94

Gladys Eufemia Kariniemi of South Haven, MN passed away at 11:32 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, at age 94 years, 7 months, and 29 days.

A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Cokato Laestadian Lutheran Church.

Visitation will be Friday, Nov. 12 from 5 to 8 p.m., with a 7 p.m. prayer service, and continue one hour prior to the service Saturday, all at the church.

Arrangements are by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato, 320-286-2534, www.swansonpeterson.com.

Gladys was born March 9, 1927, in Tenvik, ND to Charles and Tyyni Halonen. They moved to White Bear Lake, MN during her senior year of high school, graduating in 1946.

She went to Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, to pursue a degree in home economics. Her first job was a waitress at the A&W drive-in, and then after college she worked at Munsingwear in the accounting department.

Gladys married Paul July 2, 1950, at a simple ceremony at the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church on Humbolt Avenue in Minneapolis.

They lived in Fulton, MI while Paul completed his college education. They moved into their first home in Detroit, MI.

In 1956, Gladys and Paul moved to Mahtomedi, MN while their house was built at 1920 Orchard Lane in White Bear Lake, MN. They lived there until September 1968, when they moved to Plymouth, MN until retiring at the cabin on Lake Sylvia, MN in 1990.

Gladys enjoyed being a hostess for family and friends at her home in Plymouth and at Lake Sylvia in South Haven. She swam 500 strokes in the morning in the summer at the lake, and cross-country skied in the winter.

She decorated well for Christmas and the tree was her favorite. The Chi Rho family Christmas party meant a lot to her. Gladys began the first Finn class at the University of Minnesota. Her favorite pastime was her flower gardens and she enjoyed fall walks in the woods. She cut out articles and pictures about gardens, recipes, and travel.

The most important thing to our dear mother was her personal faith.

She often provided gentle reminders and correction to us kids when needed, and spent many nights up waiting for one of us to get home.

Mom loved to sing. One of her favorite songs was “Oh Look at the Bird on the Branch of the Tree,” (SHZ #341).

Faith and attending services was on her mind even in her last days. As recently as a week before she died, at 4 in the morning, she sat up in bed and told one of her children, “There are services tomorrow, are you going to ride with us?” She has now reached the heavenly home.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Hubert Kariniemi; son, Paul Werner; grandsons, Jaegar Paul Lee, Michael and David Kariniemi; great-grandchildren, Bridget Sorvala, Trevor Sorvala, Brecken Kariniemi; parents, Charles H. Halonen (Anna Jurmu), Tyyni M. Halonen; sisters, Judy Mattila, Mildred Raisanen, Sharen Ylioja; brothers, Carl Halonen (Eunice), Doug Halonen, Ed Halonen, Paul Halonen; and brothers-in-law, Mervin Mattila, Paul Ylitalo, Paul Raisanen, Daniel Kariniemi (Helen), and Albert Kariniemi; sisters-in-law, Hulda Hermanson (Otto), Signe Nelson (Norman).

She is survived by her daughters, Deborah Kariniemi, Judy Waaraniemi, Anita Kariniemi, Mary Sorvala (Rocky), and Karen Young (David); sons, Robert (Eeva), Stephen (Ann), Mark (Mirjami), Mike (Karen), Don (Carol), and Phil (Margaret); daughter-in-law, Sandra; 103 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; sisters, Sylvia Muhonen (Walter), Virginia Lehtola (Ernest), and Lillian Ylitalo; brothers, Fred Halonen (Thelma), Don Halonen (Florence), and Ray Halonen (Betty); and sisters-in-law, Lorraine Hillukka, Martha Halonen, Connie Halonen, and Betty Kariniemi.

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