Juntunen, Helvi Marjam 86

Helvi passed away at the Cokato Manor on September 8, 2021
Funeral Service: 11 AM Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at The Laestadian Congregation Church, Couth of Cokato
Viitation: 1 Hr. Prior to service at church on Wednesday
Interment: Cokato Finnish Cemetery


Wistrom, Joyce 91

Joyce Wistrom
12/24/1929 – 9/7/21

Joyce Wistrom was born in Knapp, MN to Carl and Myrtle Peterson. The oldest of three sisters, she grew up in the Knapp and Cokato area. The family eventually moved to Minneapolis where she graduated from South High School in 1948. She met Kenneth Wistrom there. They were married in 1949 and had three children, Brad, LeAnne, and Brian.

Besides raising her children, Joyce worked at the U of M Bookstores and Marquette Bank for several years, retiring from Marquette Banks in 2005. Awards included a Certificate of Appreciation from Marquette Banks as well as a Certificate from the City of Minneapolis for her garden.

Joyce was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church, singing in their choir and several other local singing groups. She also enjoyed gardening, china painting, and listening to music as well as watching her favorite baseball team, the Minnesota Twins.

Joyce is survived by her three children, Brad, LeAnne, and Brian (Carol) and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death were her parents, Carl and Myrtle, her sisters, Ramona Swanson and Nita Psihos, and husband Kenneth Wistrom.

A private service was held by the family on Saturday, Sept. 11 with internment at North Crow River Lutheran Church Cemetery. Reception scheduled at a later date.

The family extends a special thank you to the staff at The Terrace in Crystal and the medical team at North Memorial Hospital who made Joyce’s life as comfortable as it could be over these last few months.


Busse, Ainie Marie 93

Ainie Marie (Hillstrom) Busse, 93, died peacefully on August 29, 2021 in Cokato, Minnesota. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and “Meemaw” will be dearly missed by her family, relatives, and friends.

Ainie was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Norman, and survived by her children John Busse (Kathy) of Candler, NC; Linda Busse of Spokane, WA; Marion Heidi Nelson (Gregg) of Maple Grove, MN; Nancy Busse of Robbinsdale, MN; as well as grandchildren Owen Busse (Kristina) of Candler, NC; Sarah Nelson of Indianapolis, IN; Amy Nelson of St. Louis Park, MN; and great-granddaughters Penelope and Olivia.

Ainie was born on April 1, 1926, in Chicago, IL, the oldest of 9 children of Hugo and Lempi Hillstrom. She was certainly not an “April Fool,” but it made for many family jokes over the years. She graduated from Deephaven, MN high school in 1945 and studied Journalism at the University of MN, but never finished her degree. She married Norman Busse on May 12, 1948 and they lived and farmed in Prior Lake for many years before making Cokato their home in 1970.

In 1973, Ainie and Norm started Busse Gardens and Ainie brought her business mind to establishing a successful garden center and later creating a mail-order perennial business. She was one of the founders of the Perennial Plant Association, a trade organization for perennial growers in the US and Canada. She sat on the Board of Directors for several state and national plant societies, was an active lecturer, and a certified judge for the Minnesota Horticulture Society, the American Hosta Society, the American Daylily Society, and many other organizations.

After retiring from Busse Gardens in 1999, Ainie turned her extra time to exploring her family genealogy and Finnish history. She was active in the Cokato Finnish-American Historical Society and the Finnish Genealogy Group of Minnesota, attended many FinnFest celebrations, and traveled to Finland to see “the old country” and meet relatives.

Ainie was a woman of strong faith and her trust in God helped her through many difficult times. Her keen mind, depth of knowledge, and loving heart will be missed by all. A memorial service to celebrate Ainie’s life will be held at the First Baptist Church of Cokato on Saturday, October 16 at 1pm. In lieu of flowers and in appreciation of the exceptional care given by the Cokato Manor staff, please consider a memorial tribute to the Cokato Charitable Trust Furniture Fund (Cokato Manor, 182 Sunset Ave N, Cokato MN 55321).


Moritz, Kathryn C. 86

Kathryn Carol (Ingwersen) Moritz, age 86, of Cokato, passed away peacefully on September 5, 2021 at her daughter’s home surrounded by her loving husband, Robert, her five caring daughters and family.

She was a generous and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and aunt. Into her final days as she held her great grandchildren, their joy and smiles were reflected in her eyes. The details of homemaking, creating a place for family to flourish and feel loved, were most important to her. She was committed to the importance and value of providing a nurturing, sensory, loving home for her family. She advocated to all to not compromise on the time when children are young as it passes quickly and is the foundation for life.

She excelled in sewing clothes and quilts, gardening perennial flowers and vegetables, knitting afghans, making jam and pickles, and baking. A dinner prepared by Kathryn was always wonderfully tasty and made by scratch with love. She enjoyed caring for and spending time with family at their beautiful homes in Cokato and on Lake Ottertail. She showed her love for others in her attention to detail and commitment to excellence. She faced life’s challenges with grace and determination, and her courage and strength inspire us all.

Kathryn is survived by her husband, Robert Moritz, her children: Carolyn (Robert) Isch, Lori (Jeffery) Vetter, Marcia (Kevin Curran) Moritz, Mary (David) Andreasen, and Lisa Andreasen, 12 grandchildren: John Isch, Anita (Isch) and Ryan Troyer, Katrina Isch, Jacob and Sarah (Ooms) Vetter, Serena Throughbred, Katie Curran, Aaron Andreasen, Paul Andreasen, Annamarie Andreasen, Mitchell Andreasen, Clark Andreasen, Celeste Andreasen, 5 great-grandchildren: Lydia Troyer, Lucy Troyer, Ella Troyer, Ryan Vetter, Reese Vetter, her sister, Marilyn Bates, brother, Carl (Sally) Ingwersen and brother-in-law, Lynn (Darlene) Moritz. She was preceded in death by her parents, Julius and Irma Ingwersen, brothers, John Ingwersen, and Robert Ingwersen.

A farm in Lake Park, Iowa was home for Kathryn from birth on March 17, 1935 until graduating in 1952. Kathryn attended business college in Omaha, Nebraska and then worked in Spirit Lake, Iowa to be able to care for her mother. Kathryn married Robert (Bob) Moritz on May 11, 1957 in Milford, Iowa making their first home in El Centro, California while Bob served in the Navy. While Bob completed his college degree in Ames, Iowa, Kathryn worked nights in quality control. After Bob’s graduation and job offer at CDC, Kathryn coordinated several moves which brought them to Coon Rapids, Minnesota and Oakville, Ontario, Canada. In retirement, Kathryn enjoyed their country home on the Crow River in Cokato, Minnesota and spending summers on Lake Ottertail.

Our family extends a special thanks to Guardian Angels + Elim Home Care & Hospice, who provided much appreciated care, guidance and ministry during Kathryn’s final weeks with dementia at Carolyn and Bob’s near Hanover. It was an enormous blessing and honor to be able to be by her side and care for her so intimately in her time of need.

Thank you to Pastor Koch and the members of St. John’s who provided ministry and home visits to Kathryn and Bob when they were unable to attend in person.

Funeral service: Friday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. with visitation 1 hour prior at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake.

Interment: North Crow River Lutheran Cemetery.


Fern, Mary Jane C. 85

Mary Jane C. Fern, of Howard Lake, passed away on August 30, 2021, at The Gardens at Winsted in Winsted, MN. She had reached the age of 85 years.

Mary Jane was born in Elrosa Township, the daughter of Frank and Mary Moritz, graduated from Sauk Centre High School in 1954, and was united in marriage to Ralph Fern on June 25, 1957, at Our Lady’s of Angels Catholic Church in Sauk Centre. This forty-five-year union was blessed with five children.

Ralph and Mary Jane lived in Minneapolis, MN and Franklin, MN before moving to Howard Lake in 1965. She worked for 35 years in food service for Howard Lake-Waverly High School. She was active in Cub Scouts for a number of years, teaching catechism and helping with church functions at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Waverly. In her free time, she enjoyed cooking huge meals for her family, putting puzzles together, and visiting with people.

Mary Jane was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, brothers and sister, and infant grandson.

She is survived by her five children, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

The Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 10:30 AM with visitation from 9:30-10:15 AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly. Celebrant of the Mass was Father O’Hotto.

Casket bearers were Amanda Fern, Leigha Workman, William Workman, Alexander Workman, Katherine Williams, and Thomas Henz.

Internment was at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.

Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Howard Lake, MN. 320-543-3401,

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