David Leslie Karvonen

MOHAWK — David Leslie Karvonen, 74, passed away at home on August 30, 2020.

David was born in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, on July 23, 1946. Dave was raised in Wolf Lake, Minnesota, on a dairy farm and moved to Minneapolis following graduation from high school, to seek employment.

Dave met his future wife there, Gail Helppi. They married on August 30, 1969, and had four children, two of which at ages five and seven, perished in a house fire in 1979 in Northern Minnesota.

The family moved to Bruce Crossing in 1983. Dave and Gail separated in 1985 and eventually divorced. They reconciled in 2010 and have made a life together since in Mohawk. Dave worked a variety of jobs of different capacities. His last place of employment, up until this spring, was at the Poor rock Abbey, society of St. John’s in Eagle Harbor as a gardener/groundskeeper/general maintenance/handy man/trouble shooter. He spoke often of his employers, the monks, with the highest regard and respect.

He truly loved and enjoyed his work and fellow employees. Dave had a very strong work ethic which he passed on to his children and grandchildren. Nothing pleased him more than to have put in a good day’s work.

He was knowledgeable man gifted with many talents and skills including wood crafts, carpentry, electronics and mechanics. He had a beautiful tenor voice and loved to sing country music. His sense of humor was legendary. Dave leaves a wonderful legacy for all the people who got to know this humble and loving man.

Dave, you touched so many lives by setting an example of rising above adversity and great sorrow and facing life’s challenges with a smiling eye and positive attitude.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Art and Jennie; his two children, Mark Allen and Kristina Lanae; four brothers, Kenneth, Raymond, Norman and James; two sisters, Mary and June, various friends, relatives and family members.

Dave is survived by a son, Kevin David; and a daughter, Jessica Lynn, his former wife and present companion, Gail; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, a brother, Roger (Lucy), a myriad of friends and family from the Karvonen and Helppi clans. The family would like to thank the people, family and friends who helped and supported Dave during and before his time of passing. Thanks to Hospice and Pastor T. J. for his comforting words and kindness, Dr. McKenzie and his nurse, Jessica for their wonderful care and genuine concern for Dave, Bethany Lutheran Church (Helping Hands) for their generosity and truly giving and loving spirit, to see all who visited Dave, sent cards, monetary gifts, food and flowers and offered condolences and prayers.

Due to Dave’s wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial service.

Dave was a good man, honest and kind and brave. We will always love and miss him.

God speed on your journey home and may God grant you uncruel winds, as your ship sails strong an true. “To rise above our frailties and fears is an act of faith accomplished with courage”-author unknown.

Ryan Funeral Home is serving the family.