Delbert Jack Bottila, 84, of Cloquet, died Thursday, July 16, 2020, at Chris Jensen Health and Rehab Center. He was born on December 18th,1935, in Cloquet to Hjalmer and Laina (Irene) Bottila.
Delbert studied history, particularly that of Finland and its struggles, victories, and many displays of the Sisu spirit. He took delight in receiving news and updates on family, especially about his five beloved grandchildren. He had a deep connection to the outdoors, and spent countless hours operating a sawmill with his father, hunting on the family land at “the shack”, and even taking his young family and puppy, Fritz tent camping while the ground was frozen and covered with snow. He swam like a fish and loved the ritual of “taking a sauna” throughout his life.
Delbert entered the U.S. Army at age 17 and served as a paratrooper. After returning home, he earned his engineers license and worked on three Great Lakers before marrying and starting a family. He worked for and retired from Potlatch Corporation. During his marriage he was exposed to and began a lifelong appreciation for classical music. He also enjoyed spectating and volunteer coaching for (his) kid’s athletic events.
Delbert was preceded in death by his parents; a sibling, Delmarie Engmark; a niece and nephew, Corrine and Shawn Bottila; and his devoted cat, Kissa. He is survived by six siblings: Roger, Jeanette Wennberg, Sharon (Rodney) Juntunen, Terry, Steven (Darlene), and Stuart; three children: Marjori, Eric (Mary) and John (Jodi) Bottila; and five grandchildren: Danielle, Anna, Martin, Johnna and Jacalyn Bottila and many nieces and nephews.
The family thanks the caregivers and staff at Chris Jensen, St. Croix Hospice, and Pastor Gary and Jeanne Terrio for their visits, along with all his good neighbors of several decades and everyone who asked after, thought about, and prayed for him and our family.
An outdoor memorial gathering is planned. Please, no gifts, but donations in memoriam to some of Delbert’s favorite charities are welcome, such as to any animal shelter or Humane Society, Boys and Girls Town, The Nature Conservancy, or the World Wildlife Federation.