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Obituary: Lila Helen Kaski Schwoch

Lila Helen Kaski Schwoch, 85, of Barnum died peacefully Sept. 20, 2022, at New Perspective Senior Living. Lila was born at home in Automba Township on Nov. 16, 1936, to Kaarlo William Kaski and Lempi Pietila Kaski. Lila spoke Finnish at home and began learning English at Kalevala School. She graduated from Barnum High School in 1954 and went on to St. Cloud State Teachers College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1957. She taught school in Columbia Heights, Proctor, Cloquet, Kalevala and Barnum. In 1959, with help from classmates, she and Gordon Charles Schwoch noticed each other at their five-year class reunion. They married July 9, 1960, and spent their first few years together in a variety of apartments before building a house on Gordy's homestead. There they raised four children. Lila loved adventures. In the late 1950s, she and a few friends took road trips to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and even drove up Pike's Peak in Lila's 1958 Ford Fairlane 500. She had the biggest adventure of her life when she got her first passport and traveled to Austria at the age of 77. Lila enjoyed quilting and belonged to quilting groups at both Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Kettle River and Elim Lutheran Church of Blackhoof. "If you can tie your shoes, you can tie quilts," she always said. She also enjoyed knitting and gave away many hats, mittens and socks. She loved dogs and was found to be a reliable source of biscuits. Lila will be remembered for her beautiful handwriting in the many cards and letters she wrote, and for her ability to see the best in people, especially those who felt left out or misunderstood. She was a longtime member of Elim Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday school for many years and always made newcomers feel welcome. Gordy and Lila loved each other deeply for more than 60 years.

Lila was preceded in death by her husband, Gordy; her parents; brother Kaino Kaski; sister-in-law Catherine Kaski; brothers-in-law Gerald Schwoch and Milton Wolters; infant daughter Amy Kathryn Schwoch; daughter-in-law Susan Lee Schwoch; and special dog buddies Weasel, Liza, and Oskar.

Lila is survived by her sister-in-law Jeanette Wolters of Rome, New York; daughter Dana Basnar of Vienna, Austria; sons Dave (Jacqueline) Schwoch of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, Paul Schwoch of Barnum, and John (Sandy) Schwoch of Moose Lake; and 12 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held Sept. 27 in Elim Lutheran Church in Blackhoof. Burial at Riverside Cemetery in Barnum.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Elim Lutheran Church of Blackhoof, 2077 County Road 6, Barnum MN 55707.

Arrangements by Hamlin-Hansen-Kosloski Funeral Home of Moose Lake.

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