LILLIAN MAY DEGENLillian May Degen, 99, Virginia, formerly of Duluth, died on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, her 99th birthday, at Essentia Health-Virginia
Lillian May Degen, 99, Virginia, formerly of Duluth, died on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, her 99th birthday, at Essentia Health-Virginia
Lillian was born on Jan. 15, 1914, in Embarrass, the daughter of Jacob and Mary (Lehtinen) Suihkonen. Lilly grew up in Embarrass and Cook.
She was employed as C. & E. Sizer, Marker, Textiles at Fort Bragg, N.C., previous to her marriage to Thomas E. Degen, which was on Oct. 11, 1943 in Sackets Harbor, N.Y. They moved around the country while Tom was in the service. Among the places they called home were Lynnwood, Wash., and Arkansas. After World War II, they made their home in Duluth. Lilly worked as a waitress until Tom became ill and she took care of him.
Lilly was a family-oriented person. She, Tom, her brothers, and dad were a tight-knit unit in Duluth. She was always a wonderful aunt, always interested in what her nieces and nephews were up to. She saved every newspaper article, graduation announcement, letter, and picture of all of them. She was up on community and world events. Conversations were never dull with Lilly.
Among her interests were music, mind-bender books and games, and cards. She played harmonica and also had an accordion. She had a quick wit, a great sense of humor, and an admirable memory. She was a soft-spoken and happy person; her giggle was very infectious. Lilly was independent, but always ready to help others. She took what life gave and didn't complain about it.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Tom; five brothers, Eino (Sally) Suihkonen, Jack, Arthur, Sigvert, and Edwin Suihkonen; one sister, Mayme (Walter) Syrjanen; two nephews, Ronald Suihkonen, and James Lustig; and two great nephews, Stephen Lustig and Robert Suihkonen.
Lilly is survived by four nieces Janet Lustig, Virginia, Minn., Loretta (George) Nelson, Hoyt Lakes, Minn., Deanna (Oren) Salo, San Clemente, Calif., and Linda Conan, Virginia, Minn.; six great-nieces Cindy and Carolyn Lustig, Laura (Jay) Jones, Karen (Glenn) Cusano, Robin (Robert) Williams, and Catherine (Mike) Sinegal; four great-nephews Dennis Lustig, Daniel Nelson, Paul and Eric Salo; eight great-great nieces Sarah (Jason) Randall, Rebecca Lustig, Sarah Cusano, Natalie Jones, Anna and Emily Sinegal, Samantha and Isabella Salo; seven great-great nephews Ryan (Jeff Bogart) and Christopher (Kelsey) Lustig, Tomer Bar-On, Matthew and Loring Casarotto, Christian Cusano and Nicholas Salo; one great-great-great niece, Ashlyn Randall; and one great-great-great nephew, Andre Stone.
SERVICE: 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, in Range Funeral Home with a visitation one hour prior, with Pastor Nathan Sager officiating. Burial will be at Embarrass Cemetery at a later date. Please sign online guestbook at www.rangefuneralhomes.com.
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