A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

Obituaries: Merton "Chum" Juntunen

Merton "Chum" Juntunen of Esko died on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, at his home. He was born on Feb. 11, 1932, in Esko to Hjalmer and Hilma Juntunen. Chum graduated from Esko High School, where he excelled in basketball and football. He married the love of his life, Donna Mattson, on Nov. 24, 1956, in the Apostolic Lutheran Church. They had been married for 64 years.

His first job was working at the family farm. When he got married, he worked at Gamble Lumber, the Duluth airport, and owned Regional Realty in Cloquet for several years. The past few years he enjoyed giving rides to many of his friends in the community.

There were times when Chum didn't always follow the rules. Everybody who knew him knew that was his way and it was OK.

Chum will be so missed by his family and friends. He was one of a kind who touched so many people's lives. He turned the radio on polka music every Saturday and Sunday.

He was a member of the Apostolic

Lutheran Church, American Legion, and the VFW of Cloquet. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and wrote a suitcaseful of love letters to his sweetheart, Donna.

Chum was preceded in death by his brothers, William, Carl, Art, Earl, Joseph and Dennis; and sisters, Lorna Johnson, Martha Boutang, Betty Bergstedt, Elsa Carlson and baby Lucille.

He is survived by his wife, Donna; sons, Gregory (Kim) and Phillip (Laura); five grandchildren, Jason, Kathryn, Laura, Erin and Lindsey; seven great-grandchildren; brother, Roy; and sister, Kay (Marlen) Perttula; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation: 1 p.m. until the 2 p.m. memorial service Friday, Aug. 27, at the Apostolic Lutheran Church in Esko. Military honors will be accorded by the Cloquet Combined Honor Guard. To sign the guestbook and offer an online tribute, see http://www.atkins northlandfuneralhome.com.

Pine Knot News, Aug. 27, 2021