Wanda Lucille Huju, age 95, passed away into the arms of her savior on February 23, 2020, in Bigfork, Minnesota. She was born on April 24, 1924, in Sac City, Iowa, to Donald and Mildred Forsythe. In her teens, the family relocated to northern Itasca County, Minnesota, where Wanda met the love of her life, Victor Huju, Jr.
Settling initially in the Marcell area following Vic’s military service during World War II, Wanda and Vic later relocated to Arizona for a time, before returning to Marcell and building their hand-scribed dream log home on Caribou lake in the mid-1970s. During their marriage, Vic and Wanda, together, cooked and worked in various logging camps, operated the Ruby Lake Girl Scout Camp, and ran Marcell Plumbing and Heating for many years.
Wanda was a devoted mother to her two children Cherie and Mike, and somehow an even more devoted grandmother and great-grandmother. Christmas and Thanksgiving family gatherings always took on a special meaning at the log house on Caribou Lake. Wanda also exhibited an unbridled spirit of adventure. Whether Wanda was whitewater rafting or canoeing the Mississippi River from its start to where it ends in Minnesota (both in her 70s!), whether she was hiking rugged trails and searching for good rocks to polish in her rock shop, camping across the United States, or zipping up and down the curves of Highway 38 like a Formula 1 racecar driver, Wanda was always on the go, always living life to its fullest. Many are the stories, often riding the razor’s edge between fun and danger, that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have of their time spent under the semi-watchful but always loving eye of Wanda.
Wanda was also a longtime member of the Marcell Community Church and a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. She took great pride in the number of children each year who her church was able to sponsor to send to Big Sandy Bible Camp, including her own grandchildren and great-grandchildren. To quote 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
Wanda was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 50 years, Victor Huju, Jr.; parents Donald and Mildred Forsythe; brothers Theodore (Dorothy) Forsythe, Warren (Alvina) Forsythe, and Peal Forsythe; and sister Juanita (Arnold) Larsen.
She is survived by her children Cheryl (Norman) Beckman and Michael (Susan) Huju; grandchildren Kent, Judith, and Bradley Beckman, Jon (Tammy) Huju, Shawn (Richard) Lindgren, Kimberly Powell, and Jennifer Brown; 8 great-grandchildren; and 4 great-great grandchildren, as well as numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Wanda’s family would like to thank the dedicated staff at the Aspen Circle memory care unit of the Bigfork Valley Hospital for their care of Wanda in her last few years. Visitation will be on July 11, 2020, starting at 2:00 p.m., at the Marcell Family Center, with the memorial service officiated by Pastor Matt LaTourelle to follow.
Arrangements by Carroll Funeral Home, Deer River & Bigfork, Minnesota.