Frank Herbert Elias Paju, 77, of New York Mills, passed away Jan. 27, 2008, at the VA Hospital in Fargo.
He was born Nov. 4, 1930, in Homestead Township, rural New York Mills. His parents were the late Arvo and Ida (Kultala) Paju. He attended school in District 179 in Homestead Township. At 18, he was drafted into the Army and served with the 40th Infantry Division in Korea. He was point man in the ambush group of a three-group company contact patrol, where he was seriously wounded during the battle of Pork Chop Hill. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Star of Valor and a Purple Heart. After his discharge, he returned to the "ranch" in rural Homestead Township. He was an expert welder. He repaired heavy equipment and other items. He was well known for his customized welding expertise and served a wide variety of clientele. Together with his brother, Willard, they did road construction and dragline work for Otter Tail County. For more than 30 years, his nieces and nephews enjoyed their "character building" summers at the "ranch," where he lived. He liked to share his knowledge of bee keeping and customized saw milling.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Karvonen and Son Funeral Home in New York Mills, with the Rev. Don Salo officiating. The pallbearers were Rochelle Maijala, Lester Kauppi, Harold Wohlert, Gary Muckala, Les Wohlert and Ken Maki. He was laid to rest in Topelius Cemetery, New York Mills. Arrangements were provided by the Karvonen and Son Funeral Home in New York Mills.
Survivors include his sisters, Mildred Ollie of New York Mills, Lillian Johnson of Maplewood, Delores Fowler of Syracuse, N.Y.; a brother, Russell (Judy) Paju of New York Mills; sister-in-law, Joyce Paju of New York Mills; nieces and nephews; many other relatives and a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arvo and Ida Paju; brothers, Jim Paju and Willard Paju; brothers-in-law, Melvin Ollie, Kenneth "Hank" Johnson and Don Fowler; one niece; one nephew; and a grand-niece.