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Darlene “Toby” Pulju


Funeral Services were held for Darlene “Toby” Pulju, age 87 of Wadena, Minnesota on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Karvonen Funeral Home in Wadena with Pastor Jim Stoneman officiating. Pallbearers were Toby’s grandsons: Kelly Pulju, Kasey Pulju, Michael Pulju, Corby Pulju, Brandon Kopischke, Zach Pohto and Jeremy Northcutt. Toby was laid to rest at Jim Cook Cemetery in Menahga, Minnesota

Darlene “Toby” Marie (Zentner) Pulju was born on October 18, 1932 to Lester and Evelena (Blanchard) Zentner in Menahga. She attended school in Menahga.
On January 3, 1949 Toby was united in marriage to Melvin Howard Pulju in Park Rapids. Their marriage was blessed with eight children: Mel Jr., Joe, Larry, Keith, Don, Gary, Terry, and Sheila. Together they made their home in Wadena.

Toby was employed at Keys Café and Todd-Wadena Electric. She also worked at the Wadena Deer Creek School, cooking and helping at Kids Club. She loved going to baseball games, especially the Huntersville Horseflies. Darlene enjoyed cooking, playing bingo and watching The Price is Right and spending time with her family.

On February 29, 2020 Toby passed away with her loving family by her side at Tri County Health Care in Wadena. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Preceding Darlene in death are her parents: Lester and Evelena; husband, Melvin Pulju; sons: Don “Duck” Pulju, and Mel Jr.; sister: Donna Harsha; sister-in-law: Kathy Zentner; and brother-in-law: Dave Kern.

Toby is survived by her children: Joe Pulju of Wadena; Larry (Candace) Pulju of Wadena; Keith Pulju of Wadena; Gary Pulju of Wadena; Terry (Karen) Pulju of Winnemucca, NV and Sheila (Grant) Pohto of Ham Lake; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; daughters-in-law: Pegi Pulju and Laurie Kopischke-Pulju; sisters: Connie (Carl) Johnson; and Arlis Kern; brother: Lester Zentner; brother-in-law: Dick Harsha; many other relatives and a host of friends.

Arrangements provided by Karvonen Funeral & Cremation Service of Wadena, Minnesota. Please visit to leave a message of comfort and support for Toby’s family.

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