Shirley M. (Carl) Kukkonen

CHASSELL – Shirley M. (Carl) Kukkonen, 94, a former Hancock, resident and current resident of Chassell and Phoenix, Arizona, passed away in Arizona on December 15, 2016, of natural causes.

Born on February 8, 1922, in the Finnish community of Duluth Minnesota, she was the daughter of Gust and Helmi Miller.

Preceding her in death was her son, Larry Kukkonen.

She is survived by her husband of 73 years, Carl Kukkonen who she met at Suomi College (now Finlandia University) in Hancock. She is also survived and loved by her four children, Carl (Noreen) Kukkonen of Dana Point, California, Phillip (Bonnie) Kukkonen of Hancock, Ann (Jim) Golden of Marquette and Thomas (Carla) Kukkonen of Apple Valley, Minnesota; adult grandchildren, Carl Kukkonen, Daniel Kukkonen, Kristi Kajander, Erik Kukkonen, Camille Moberg, Amy Golden, Thomas Golden, Zachary Kukkonen, Sara Kukkonen, and 18 great-grandchildren.

Shirley was active in managing the Kukkonen’s Hallmark Cards and Gifts and Kukkonen Studio in Hancock.

She served on the Hancock Business and Professional Women’s Council, the Finlandia University Finnish Council in America and was President of Finns and Friends in the Phoenix area.

“p1″>Shirley loved spending her summers with her husband at their cottage in Chassell.  She loved having gatherings with family and friends there.  She spent her winters with her husband in Phoenix. She enjoyed playing cribbage every morning and even got a “29″ hand!  She was a very avid Minnesota Viking fan.

A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. on Friday, December 23, 2016, at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock with Rev. D.J. Rasner to officiate. Friends may call on Friday, December 23, 2016, from 10 a.m. until time of services at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy the family suggests the memorial be given to the charity of one’s choice in memory of Shirley Minette Kukkonen.

To view Shirley’s obituary or to send condolences to the family, please visit

The Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Homes of Hancock are assisting the family with the arrangements.