Lantto, Ernest Stanley 92

Ernest Stanley Lantto (Ernie or Stan) is off on his greatest adventure at 92. He died on January 16th, 2024 in Dassel, MN. A green burial was held at Steeleville Cemetery the following Friday.

Ernie was born on April 3, 1931 in French Lake, MN to Ernest B. Lantto and Emma J. Rokala. After graduating from Annandale High School in 1948, he attended Gustavus Adolphus College and graduated in 1952 with a degree in Mathematics.

He married Louise A. Granath in Dassel on September 13, 1953. Ernie and Louise first lived in Dayton, Ohio while serving in the US Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force base where Ernie was involved in the Air Force’s first deployment of computers. They later moved to St. Louis Park, MN where Ernie began his career as a computer engineer for Univac. In 1971, the family moved to Europe as Univac had transferred him there. The family lived in The Hague, Netherlands and the Bonn, West Germany metro area. They spent summers traveling across Europe in a Volkswagen camper van. This sparked Ernie’s passion for traveling the world, eventually visiting 43 countries and even traveling to Europe and Costa Rica in his 90s. He was an adventurer, always willing to try the food and learn about the local culture. The family returned from Europe in 1976 to the same home they had left in 1971.

Ernie retired from Univac in 1988, after purchasing Louise’s childhood farm home in rural Dassel. He loved renewing the property and caring for the land and its wildlife. He thrived on reconnecting and learning about the people where he grew up. Ernie will be remembered for his story telling and undying love of his Finnish heritage. He was active in the local Finnish-American Genealogical Society and helped build Temperance Corner north of Cokato. For over 30 years, Ernie took pride in caring for Steelesville and Riverside Cemeteries as their Sexton. He was an active member of the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel, as well as a member of the Kingston American Legion Post #483.

Ernie was a devoted husband to his wife, Louise, personally caring for her night and day the last 5 years of her life as she suffered the ravages of dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Ernie is survived by sons, Eric (Patricia) and Samuel, daughter Julia Hansen (Jeffrey), nine grandchildren, five great grandchildren, siblings Mary Sharon Bekkala, Katherine Johnson, Judy Byman, Chris Lantto as well as many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife Louise, daughter Karen Willcox, son Orville, grandchildren Stanton Willcox and Genevieve Lantto, and siblings Paul, John, Charlotte Peterson, Reuben, Carol Schacht and Greta Meade.

A memorial for Ernie will be held in the spring of 2024 in Dassel with date and time to be announced.