Harold Wynia, 81

Harold James Wynia “Tang” went to heaven to be with Jesus Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, while sleeping peacefully in his home next to Elsie, his beloved wife of 58 years.

He had bravely battled cancer for several years. And while he can never be replaced in the hearts of those who loved him, we are also rejoicing that he is now in his forever home.

Harold James Wynia was born Feb. 21, 1940, in Slayton, MN, to Jacob and Velda Wynia.

The family lived in Minneapolis for a few years before settling in Cokato in 1946.

Harold was a beloved older brother to Larry and Julie, and he and Larry took good care of Julie following their dad’s death in 1973. He was also devoted to helping care for his mom, Velda, and sang her in to heaven in 2009.

Harold accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior as a youngster at Trout Lake Camp.

He graduated in 1958 from Cokato High School, where he got his diploma and his nickname, “Tang.” A lot of people thought it came from the orange drink, Tang, that became popular in the 1960s through the space program. However, it actually came from his high school football coach, who referred to him as a “tanglefoot.” It stuck with his friends, and eventually was shortened to “Tang.” He was known as “Tang” by so many people that there may be those who never knew his real name was Harold.

Harold was also known for his clever mind and his love of writing poems and songs to commemorate various events in the lives of his family and friends. Usually accompanied by a gift that he had made just right with White-Out and a Sharpie.

Harold started his post-secondary education at Bethel College before transferring to the University of Minnesota to finish his degree. It was there he met Elsie Mae Tutt. Both he and Elsie graduated with degrees in elementary education.

The two were married Aug. 17, 1963. The couple welcomed son, Jeffrey, in 1967; daughter, Jennifer, in 1970; son, Jonathan, in 1972; and daughter, Jody, in 1975, and made their home in Roseville, MN.

During those years, the family attended Bethany Baptist Church, where Harold sang tenor in the choir and was also active in ministries like the Boys’ Brigade. The highlight of most of their summer breaks was family camp at Trout Lake Camp. In later years, Calvary was their church home and he loved being part of the community and choir there, too.

Harold taught at several different schools in the Mounds View Public School District throughout his 35-year career. He had a mind for math and it became his favorite subject to teach, but he also enjoyed things like coaching track and field.

It was common to run into former students of his who were eager to express that he was their favorite teacher.

He also worked several odd jobs on summer breaks and after retirement to support his family, including at the Minnesota State Fair, Pot O’ Gold Bingo, Abbott Paint & Carpet.

In his later years, Harold’s favorite pastime was being a grandpa to his 13 grandchildren. He loved going to his grandkids’ various sporting events and other extracurricular activities, and he was always happy to chauffeur them around and slip them $.

In 2005, Harold and Elsie moved to Shoreview to live with Jody and Aaron, and were the primary caregivers to their three children when Jody and Aaron were both working.

In addition to his wife, Elsie, Harold is survived by his fourchildren: Jeffrey Wynia (Kirsten) of Woodbury, MN, Jennifer Hansen (Paul) of Blaine, MN, Jonathan Wynia (Amy) of New Brighton, MN, and Jody Boyd (Aaron) of Shoreview, MN; 13 grandchildren: Kayley Hansen, Karissa Stensgard (Garret), Kacedy Hansen, Jacob Wynia (Kalissa), Kristian Hansen, Benjamin Wynia, Grace Wynia, Noelle Boyd, Owen Wynia, Noah Boyd, Jonah Boyd; brother: Larry Wynia (Doris) of South Haven, MN, and Julie Burau (Dale) of Howard Lake, MN. He is also survived by many other dear family members and friends.

A beautiful service to celebrate Harold’s life took place Friday, Nov. 19 at Calvary Church in Roseville, MN.

Contact the family (jodboy13@gmail.com) if you’d like to see the video of the service. Memorials preferred to Trout Lake Camps or Calvary Church.

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