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Raymond E. Kulju

McGREGOR — Raymond E. Kulju, age 80, of McGregor, died Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, at the Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital in Grand Rapids, Minn.

Raymond was born March 30, 1931, at Lawler, Minn., the son of Jacob and Hilda (Rengo) Kulju. He grew up and attended schools in Lawler and McGregor graduating from the McGregor High School in 1949. He then joined the U.S. Air Force and served in Korea. He married Violet Jean O’Brien on May 22, 1952, in Tacoma, Wash. He attended Dunwoody Institute and he worked for Boeing and then the Hanford Atomic Works Plant in Washington. He moved to Lawler in 1960. He married his high school sweetheart Elaine Sylte on Dec. 12, 1964, in St. Paul. They moved to Hastings, Minn., and Ray worked as an electrical maintenance engineer for 3M retiring in 1992. Upon his retirement they moved to the McGregor area and he has lived here since. Ray and Elaine owned and operated a number of businesses in the area over the years. He was a member of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic workers union, and the American Legion Post. He also had taught sno-mobile safety courses.

He is survived by children, Jack (Beverly) Kulju, of Apple Valley, Calif., Tom (Ann) Kulju, of Longville, Minn., Kerry (Raymond) Nelson, of Goodland, Minn., Karl Kulju, of Hastings, Minn., Eric (Greta) Kulju, of McGregor, Minn., Toni (Brett) Pugsley, of Hastings, Minn., Kris (Paula) Kulju, of Brainerd, Minn., Trell Kulju and special friend, Vicki Heckman, of Thief River Falls, Minn.; 12 grandchildren, Lisa, Patric, Michael, Brittney, Jacob, Jennifer, Peyton, Cameron, Anna, Cheryl, Michelle, Amy; two great-grandchildren, Keira, Tristan; and special niece, Kay Blais, of Longville, Minn. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Elaine in 2004; two infant children; sisters, Elma and Elsie; and two brothers, Weikko; and infant brother.

A gathering of family and friends will be held Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, from 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at the McGregor Funeral Home in McGregor, Minn. Burial will be in the Salo Cemetery. Memorials will be given to the Independent School District No. 4 to help further education. Arrangements are with the McGregor Funeral Home.