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Gene Paul Turja

Gene Paul Turja

Gene Paul Turja, 81, of Duluth, Minn., passed away on Friday, June 27, 2014, in his home. He was born July 25, 1932, in Hibbing, Minn., to John and Mildred Turja. He grew up in Biwabik and Virginia, Minn., graduating from high school in 1950. On June 4, 1960, Gene married Zona Lundstrom Wingo and instantly became a dad to her five children, loving and raising them as his own. They later had two daughters together.

Gene was preceded in death by two brothers, James and Robert Turja; and daughters Nancy Gail and Terry Lea.

He is survived by his wife, Zona; daughters Mary Lu (Joel) Oustad of Bemidji, Minn., Bette Jean (Cline) Sipes of Nixa, Mo., Jackie Ann (Joel) Kinghorn of Esko, Minn., and Patti K Hamilton of Duluth, Minn.; son, Douglas (Annie) Wingo of Las Vegas, Nev.; seven grandchildren, Shawn, Steven, Brian, Melissa, Amanda, Brianna, Megan, Rachel and Dustin; great-granddaughter, Ava; great-grandson, Aiden; and brother, Thomas (Darlene) Turja of Virginia.

Visitation: Sunday, July 6, from 1 p.m. until the 2 p.m. funeral service in St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Esko, followed by a time of lunch and fellowship, with burial in St. Matthews Cemetery in Esko.

To sign the guest book and offer an online tribute, see

July 3, 2014 ~ Pine Journal, Cloquet, Minn.