Tuovi Sofie Kinnunen died peacefully February 27, 2017 at her home in Kent, CT.
Tuovi was born on November 30, 1922 in Painesdale, Michigan to John and Adolfiina Wiitala. She was raised in Tapiola, Michigan, attended the John Doelle High School, then received her BS from Northern Michigan University in 1947. She briefly interrupted her college education during World War II to teach at Doelle and coach the men’s basketball team. After graduating with her degree in physical education, she resumed teaching in the public school system of River Rouge, Michigan.
She married Reino Kinnunen in 1949 and retired from teaching in 1952 to raise their four children, Peter, Paula, Carl, and Liisa. Ray’s job took the family all over the country where she made welcoming homes and lasting friendships. After Ray’s retirement they moved to Kent where she was active at the Congregational Church’s Quality Thrift Shop and served on the Board of the Kent Children’s Center. They split their time between their homes in Kent and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Tuovi had a tremendous zest for life, an unquenchable curiosity, and most of all an abiding and enormous love of family. She had many enduring friendships and enjoyed feisty conversation, sports (most specifically NCAA basketball), and helping others. She will be greatly missed.
She was predeceased by her husband Reino, her brother George Wiitala and her sister Toini Kilpela. Survivors include her children and their spouses as well as seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Lillis Funeral Home 58 Bridge Street, New Milford, CT. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Kent Children’s Center, Habitat for Humanity, or any charity of choice.