Margaret Kajala, age 74, of Virginia passed away of natural causes on November 17th at Edgewood Vista.
Margaret was born December 8, 1945 in St Paul, MN to Louis and Rose (Huss) Beckman. She grew up on the family farm outside of Jordan, MN. She attended St. John’s Catholic School in Jordan through 8th grade and graduated from Jordan High School in 1963. She then attended Mankato State University - graduating in 1967 with a B.S. in Math. Upon graduation, she began teaching math in Virginia, MN where she met George Kajala - her future husband. They were married on June 21, 1969. Following their marriage, they moved to Saint Paul. While living in St. Paul, Margaret taught at S.M. Grass Junior High in West Saint Paul while George finished dental school. Upon George’s graduation, they moved back to Virginia where Margaret started work as the bookkeeper in George’s orthodontic practice - a position that she took over full time a few years later as his practice grew. They made their home on Virginia’s south side. George and Margaret first lived on 5th Avenue and later moved to 8th Street where Margaret lived for nearly 40 years. In 1973, they purchased a cabin on Lake Vermilion which they later remodeled into a home for an eventual retirement. The “lake place”, as she called it, provided countless hours of fun with family and friends. However, it also demanded many hours of hard work as she kept the place spotless both inside and out.
In 1979, her son Steven was born. Margaret cherished being a mother and stepped back from some of the duties at George’s office so that she could care for Steve. Margaret was a kind, caring, and patient mother. She also became the defacto care-taker to the menagerie of pets that Steve kept in the house. Margaret was very willing to lend a hand for whatever projects or events Steve was involved in. She was always just a phone call away to provide rides for Steve and his friends.
Margaret loved to cook. At their home and lake place, Margaret hosted many luncheons and dinner parties. In addition to formal parties, she welcomed George and Steve’s friends into their home for a meal at any time. She was a wonderful hostess who paid attention to the smallest details to make sure her guests felt welcomed. Her other interests over the years included sewing, golfing, gardening, downhill and cross-country skiing; boating, canoeing, camping, fishing, and especially traveling. She cherished time spent with her many friends - especially after George passed away in 2000.
The last chapter of Margaret’s life began when she moved into Edgewood Vista in 2016. She loved living at Edgewood Vista. While there, she especially enjoyed socializing with fellow residents, visits from family and friends, and taking rides around Virginia to look at the places that were important to her. She also enjoyed an occasional stop at Grandma’s Restaurant or Dairy Queen.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, husband Dr. George Kajala, father in law Eino “Kikier” Kajala, mother in law Hilma Kajala, brothers in law Loren Gunderman and Dennis Zaun; and nephew Gregg Zaun. She was also preceded in death by her beloved golden retrievers Max, Duke, and Ben.
Margaret is survived by her son Steven Kajala, daughter in law Scarlett Kajala, grandchildren Parker, Evan, Vincent, Lila, and Chloe Kajala; her twin sister Mary Jo (Gary) Carstens, sisters Jenny Gunderman and Karen Zaun; brothers Ron (Liz) Beckman and Mike (Donna) Beckman; sister in law Linda (Paul) Orazem, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Margaret’s family would like to thank the staff at Edgewood Vista, special “cousin in law” Robert Tomassoni, nephew Todd Zaun, and her wonderful friends for all of their caring and kindness as her health declined over the past several years.
A private family graveside service will be held at the Lakeside Cemetery in Biwabik. Arrangements are by the Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.