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Virginia Florence (Halonen) Lehtola died on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2024, at the age of 90. She was born January 31, 1934, to Charles and Tyyne (Oikelmus) Halonen.

She spent her early years in North and South Dakota.  In 1945, her family moved to White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

At the age of 16, Virginia’s mother died. Leaving her the oldest girl at home, Virginia had the responsibility of caring for the home, and learned at a young age to give and serve. These traits continued on throughout her life with a willing heart to help others out.

Virginia married Ernest Lehtola on March 22, 1958. Virginia and Ernest lived their first year of marriage in Fulton, Michigan until Ernest finished college. Their first child was born there. In 1959, the family moved to White Bear Lake, where ten more children were born.

The Lehtola family moved to Maple Grove, MN in 1978. Virginia loved visiting and being in her kitchen. The Lehtola home was often filled with company where Gina would serve up her famous turkey dinner. If she wasn’t serving guests in her home, she would bring along her dough to bake and share at a friend’s home.

After the children grew up, Ernest and Virginia moved to their retirement home in Otsego, MN in 2005. Virginia loved spending those days visiting. She’d greet you with a cheery paiva paiva!! And to any requests, the answer would be, yo yo yo!

After her husband died in December 2021, she lived her final years at Randy & Sheila’s home in Wolf Lake, Minnesota.

Virginia’s first love was to God.  God blessed Virginia with a servant’s heart.  Her enduring diligence and generosity were God’s gift.  Throughout her life, this gift of love was shared with those whom her life touched.

Virginia longed to reach her eternal home in heaven.   Though we miss her loving presence in this life, God has brought his diligent servant to her eternal home.

Virginia is survived by her children: John (Janelle), Sheila (Randy) Keranen, Valerie  (Brian) Johnson, Marcia, Beverly, Joseph (Mary), Peggy, James (Maria), Donald (Jeanette), Gary (Lea) and Briita (Keith) Moll; 82 grandchildren and 130 great-grandchildren; her siblings: Raymond (Betty) Halonen, Lillian Ylitalo, Donald (Florence) Halonen; sisters-in-law: Lorraine Hillukka, Connie Halonen, Martha Halonen; brother-in-law Jerry Anderson; step sister-in-law Miriam Jurmu, and a host of relatives and friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband Ernest; her parents Charles and Tyyne; stepmother Anna (Jurmu) Halonen; grandson Thomas Lehtola; siblings: Carl (Eunice), Judith (Mervin) Mattila, Gladys (Paul) Kariniemi, Sylvia (Walter) Muhonen, Fred (Thelma), Mildred (Paul) Raisanen, Paul, Edward, George, and Sharen Anderson; brother-in-law: Paul Ylitalo; stepbrothers: Clifford (Carol) Jurmu and Robert Jurmu; and former son-in-law, Philip Hendrickson.

Funeral services for Virginia Lehtola will be held on Thursday, May 23 at 11:00 AM at the Minneapolis Laestadian Lutheran Church – 13030 47th Avenue North, Plymouth, MN 55442. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church.

Interment will take place on Friday, May 24, 2024 at 1:00 PM at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Meet in assembly area #2 by 12:45 PM.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to The Peterson Chapel of St. Michael, MN. Online condolences for the family may be directed to

1 Guestbook Entry

  1. Roland Keranen

    Gina and Ernie left many good memories with me. Gina with her good cheer and ready smile (plus great baking!) and Ernie always interested in what I was up to. He was fascinated with airplanes and aviation. He just chuckled at me when I, in all seriousness, suggested he take flying lessons:)


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