Donald Melvin Harold Kunnari, 97, of Virginia, Minn., went peacefully home to be with his dear Savior on Thursday, May 12, 2022, surrounded by his family.
Don was born on March 17, 1925, in New York Mills, Minn., the 10th of 11 children born to Finnish immigrants Matt and Lizzie Kunnari. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Don married the love of his life, Lorraine Johnson, on Feb. 22, 1947, in Virginia. Together they raised their 11 children on their dairy farm in Palo. A tireless provider for his family, Don worked in mining and other jobs, but he was a farmer first for more than 40 years. In retirement, he enjoyed their home on Bass Lake and crafting woodworking projects for and spending time with his family. He was a founding member and served on the board at Grace & Truth Bible Church for many years.
Don first heard of the saving grace of Jesus Christ while in the army, and he trusted in Him several years later. His favorite verse was Luke 19:10: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Don spent 72 years of wedded bliss with Lorraine before she went on ahead in 2019. He is now reunited with his beloved because of their faith in the finished work of Jesus.
Don is survived by his 11 children: Ellen (Joel) Nygaard of Palo, Connie (Daniel) Miller of Gilbert, Diane (Brian) DeMarte of Virginia, Donn (Marilyn) Kunnari of St. Louis River, Laurel (Al) Miller of Stone Lake, Wisc., Dan (Diana) Kunnari of Ashton, Iowa, Kathy (Scott) Ortler of Lakeland, Tim (Tangi) Kunnari of Federal Dam, Minn., Peter (Brenda) Kunnari of Aurora, Jack (Mariann) Kunnari of Fayal Township, and Rachel (Brackett) Paine of Lakeland; 49 grandchildren, and 117 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Lorraine, son John Mark, three grandsons Mark Nygaard, Jonathan Miller, and Eric Kunnari, great-granddaughter Eilie Vruno, and his 10 siblings.
Funeral services are at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at Grace & Truth Bible Church in Virginia. Pastor Dan Miller will officiate. Visitation will precede the service at 10 a.m. Private family interment will be at Rauha Cemetery in Palo. Arrangements by Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Aurora.
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