Ethel Vivian (Kullander) Maki died peacefully on Wednesday, December 28, 2022 in Crosby MN at the Care Center at CRMC.
A memorial service is planned at the Cascade United Methodist Church on June 17, 2023 with visitation at 10 am, service at 11 am, reception to follow. Following the service her ashes will be spread on family land that was part of her parent’s farm, on the north shore of Black Lake.
Ethel was born on February 10, 1922. Parents Leo and Olga Hill had a dairy farm in Deerwood, the Cascade Lake Dairy, where she grew up with sister Alice and cousins Edwin Lehtinen and Morris Syria. Ethel graduated from C-I High School in 1940 and the University of Minnesota in 1944 with a BS in Music Education. During the college years she worked summers at Rutgers in Bay Lake. In 1944 she got a music teaching job in Aitkin and taught there for 2 years. She married Doug Kullander at Fort Sheridan, IL on August 9, 1947. She taught music at the Highwood IL Oak Terrace School until Doug returned from service in Korea in 1949. They bought a home in Libertyville, IL where they raised 3 children and lived until 1981. Ethel served as a choir director at the Libertyville United Methodist Church and taught music in the Libertyville public schools. She also taught piano lessons to hundreds of children, wherever they lived!
Ethel and Doug both retired in 1981 and moved back to Minnesota, buying a home in Crosby. Ethel immediately settled in at the old Crosby Methodist Church, met an old student from her Aitkin HS teaching days, Marilyn Hendricksen, and was soon their choir director. She also served as the Regional District Officer of the United Methodist Women. She loved the new Cascade United Methodist church, as it overlooked her old family farm property. She was active at the church until 2010. She was also a member of the Cuyuna Range Women’s Club and Study Club, the Myron James American Legion Post 443 in Ironton, and an avid bridge player.
Husband Doug passed in 1984, and her church life sustained her. In 1992, a recently widowed old C-I classmate Elmer Maki, came to visit. A whirlwind romance, and they were married in 1993. Of course, Ethel dragged Elmer into her active church life and the Geritol Frolics and they lived very happily with much travel until Elmer passed in 2002. Music and the church were the bedrocks throughout her life.
She is survived by children Jodi (Tim) Peschman, David (Sherri) Kullander, Anders Kullander, 5 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, nephew John (Sandy) Taylor and niece Jane (John Lynch) Benjamin, and many great nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents Leo and Olga Hill, sister Alice Taylor-Milbradt, first husband Douglas Kullander and second husband Elmer Maki.
A Memorial service will be 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at the Cascade United Church in Deerwood. A visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Arrangements are with the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby.
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