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TUULA MARJATTA HARJU (July 17, 1945 – January 15, 2024)

Tuula Marjatta Harju, 78, of Two Harbors, died Monday, January 15, 2024, at St. Luke’s Hospital, after complications from a recent fall.

Tuula was born on July 17, 1945, in Jalasjarvi, Finland to Tauno and Kuusiluoma, where she grew up and graduated from school. She married Juhani Harju on September 11, 1967, and after some deliberation, they decided to move to the United States. They arrived in Two Harbors in 1969, staying first with family, then finding their own way in a new country. She was a valued member of the community and a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Elli Tuula was primarily a homemaker though she worked as a housecleaner and helper outside the home as well. She was generous with her time and made a difference in the lives of countless people by giving rides, cleaning homes (and they were never cleaner!), and sharing conversations in English and Finnish. Tuula was also an athlete, competing in running and cross-country ski races, often winning her age group, if not the whole race. She could commonly be found working alongside her husband, and later her son. She was a hard worker, doing assistant carpentry, farming, and tractor repair and restoration. In 1990, Tuula became the primary caregiver for her husband after he was injured. She was an excellent nurse and caregiver to him through the years of her life.

Tuula was good at most everything she did. Her grandchildren will tell you she was the best Mummu, spoiling them beyond comprehension. She was a knitter, a weaver, and grew beautiful flowers. She also made the best currant juice in Minnesota and was a great baker and cook. She loved going to garage sales and finding a deal. She collected jewelry, figurines, dishes, and other treasures she found beautiful. Tuula came to love visiting the casino and had unusually good luck. The casino might be the only group relieved to hear of her passing as she most often came out ahead.

She is preceded in death by her parents and survived by her husband, Juhani; a son, Don (Andrea Sande) Harju; grandsons, Fynn and Ilo; and three sisters and four brothers and their families in Finland. Her family isn’t quite sure what they’ll do without her and knows they’ll never be able to make the Mummu laipa (grandma bread) taste as good as hers.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, February 3 at 11:00 AM at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Two Harbors with refreshments to follow. To share a memory or leave an online condolence, visit www.cavallinfuneralhome.com.

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