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February 19, 1934 – May 12, 2020

Beautiful Savior! Lord of the nations! Son of God and Son of Man!
Thee will I honor, praise, and give glory, Give praise and glory evermore!
(The Lutheran Hymnal #657)


Mrs. Mary Ellen Maunula (nee Rantala), age 86 years, passed away on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at Southbridge Roseview care home, Thunder Bay.

Mary Ellen was born in Port Arthur on February 19, 1934, the oldest of three daughters. She attended Hillcrest High School and after grade 10, enrolled at Kings Business College. She worked at a variety of office jobs throughout her life. In the early 80’s, Mary Ellen decided to return to high school to obtain her grade 12 diploma; along with her 6 children, she got her diploma at Hammarskjold High School. Mary Ellen served her church community through the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and by volunteering. She filled in as organist and organized many outings and dinners for the church’s seniors.

Mary Ellen met her husband-to-be through a friend. The relationship grew at their church youth group, and she was married to Rev. W. Lawrence (Laurie) Maunula on June 10, 1955. Mary Ellen joined Laurie in Springfield, Illinois, in 1956. She embraced her role as a pastor’s wife at parishes in Jersey City, NJ, Covington, MI, Milwaukee, WI, and in Ontario at Dryden, Seebach’s Hill and Lappe. After retirement, she and Laurie served many vacancies from The Pas, Manitoba to Kamloops, Britsh Columbia, as well as the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission here in Thunder Bay. They were married for almost 50 years.

Over the years, Mary Ellen enjoyed travelling with her husband Laurie and visiting family and friends throughout Canada, the United States, and Finland. She also enjoyed crocheting and made an afgan for each grandchild. She is well known for faithfully sending greeting cards to her family and friends.

She is survived by her children Timothy (Erica), Wayne (Kelly), Daniel (Eleanor), Randy (Barbara), Mark (Sharon), Elizabeth (Daniel). She was very proud of her 17 grandchildren John, Katharine, Landon, Carly, Andrew, Meghan, Laura, David, Anna, Heidi, Tarja, Jaakob, Martti, Joel, Melissa, Charleen and Adam and 13 great-grandchildren. Mary Ellen is also survived by her younger sister Peggy Michels and numerous other relatives.

Mary Ellen was predeceased by her husband Laurie in 2005, her sister Eila in 2017, her step-father Matti in 1992, her mother Katie in 1983, and her father Jacob in 1957.

Because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, a private funeral service for Mary Ellen will be held Friday, May 15. Interment at the family plot at the Lappe Cemetery will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Christ Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM), or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Everest Funeral Chapel, 299 Waverley Street at Algoma.

Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side, Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide, In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend, Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end
(The Lutheran Hymnal #651)



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