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Clarence D. Kuusi


Clarence D. Kuusi, 81 of Pengilly, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 1, 2020 in the Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

He was born on April 24, 1939 to Daniel and Elizabeth Kuusi of Menahga. He married Bonnie Mears of Park Rapids on August 2, 1958 and they had three children. Clarence was employed by Butler Brothers and National Steel Pellet Company as a welder for 34 years. During his employment, he was a grievance officer and later became the president of Steel Workers Local 2660.

He retired in 1994. He and his wife bought a lake home on Stocking Lake in Menahga, and enjoyed may years of fishing and spending time with his family. In his spare time, he worked for the Planning and Zoning Department in both Wadena and Itasca County, and the Parks Department in Wadena County.

Clarence and Bonnie moved back to the Iron Range, where he became active as a delegate and later on as the president of the local Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees United Steelworkers of America AFL-CIO-CLC (Soar). Other interests include president of the Bovey Moose Club 1061 and contributing to the Boys Town in Nebraska.

Survivors include his wife Bonnie of Pengilly; his children: Debra (Charles) Burns of Mankato, Terry (Diane) Kuusi of Hibbing, and Jeffery Kuusi and Michelle of Annandale; six grandchildren: Jessica (Nick) Knutson of Eden Prairie, Rodney Whight and Kyra of Devils Lake, North Dakota, Becky (Jake) Bjorklund of Phoenix, Arizona, Katelyn Whight and Drew of Duluth, Tyler Kuusi and Becca of Grand Rapids and Teresa Jo Kuusi of Chisholm, and seven great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the 10:30 a.m. funeral service on Monday, June 8, 2020 in the Peterson Funeral Chapel of Coleraine. The Rev. Diane Bolles will officiate. Interment will be in the Alajoki Cemetery in Menahga.

Arrangements by the Peterson Funeral Chapel of Coleraine. To leave an online message of condolence please visit our website at 6-10pd

1 Comment

  1. Walter (Laitinen) Phelps on June 15, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Sounds like Clarence lived a good life. I met Clarence in Menahga in 1947 when we were in 2nd grade together. Pearl Qualley was our 2nd grade teacher and we had Agnes Hepokoski for 3rd grade. In 4th or 5th I rode home with Clarence for a visit and supper which was boiled potatoes and black coffee. Clarence’s dad took me home later with his horse and sleigh from a few miles east of Menahga. I just remember how cold it was even with a blanket, way below zero. We rented the Ristinen house that was later turned into a funeral home on the north side of Menahga next to a watch repairman maybe a block south of the Blueberry river and next to Ida Ryding’s sauna if anyone is old enough to remember.

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