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Don "Duck" Pulju

Donald Lee Pulju, 54, passed away unexpectedly Oct. 7, 2008, at Tri County Hospital in Wadena.

He was born Jan. 26, 1954, in Wadena, to Melvin and Darlene (Zentner) Pulju. Known as "Duck" to all who knew him, he attended Wadena public schools and graduated with the class of 1972. He married Laurie Kopischke on July 7, 1990, at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Wadena. He was a lifetime member of the community and belonged to the Wadena Elks Club. He will be remembered for his many years at Merickel Lumber Mills. He was an avid golfer, and enjoyed deer hunting and baseball.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008, at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Wadena with the Rev. Donald Wagner officiating. Interment was in Wadena Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers were Mark Wynn, Dan Sartell, Dick Wirta, Rich Stuntebeck, Denny Rude, Steve Johnson, members of "The Shack," Huntersville Horseflies, and Duck's golfing buddies. Active pallbearers were Lindsey Gustafson, Scott Gustafson, Jon Frolander, Mike Baron, Gary Tastad, and Bruce Buising. Arrangements were with Johnson Memorial Home in Wadena (

Survivors include his loving wife, Laurie Kopischke-Pulju; his mother, Darlene of Wadena; sons, Michael (Ashley) Pulju of Lakewood, Colo., and Brandon Kopischke of Wadena; daughter, Megan Kopischke of Brainerd; two grandchildren; brothers, Mel (Pegi), of Wadena, Joe, of North St. Paul, Larry (Candace), Keith, and Gary, all of Wadena, and Terry (Karen) of Las Vegas, Nev.; and sister, Sheila (Grant) Pohto of Ham Lake, Minn.

He was preceded in death by his father, Melvin Pulju, Sr.