John M. Anttila, 94, died Thursday, March 19, 2020 at UMass Medical Center in Worcester.

He was the husband of 65 years to the late Mary B. (Nutile) Anttila who died February 11, 2017.

He leaves one daughter, Lisa Gingras and her husband Albert of Sarasota, FL; two grandchildren, Brian Gingras of Woburn and Christine Reeves of Mississippi; 6 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

John was born in Fitchburg on June 23, 1925 a son of the late Matty E. and Fanny M. (Malk) Anttila. He was a graduate of Fitchburg High School. He served in the US Army during WWII in the 10th Mountain Division and was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal. He worked for the US Government as an Operations Supervisor for the Social Security Administration.

He enjoyed playing tennis, going fishing, skiing and shooting as he was an excellent marksman. He was a member of the Fitchburg Sportsmen’s club and of Saima Park in Fitchburg.

Due to the Corina 19 virus, John’s funeral services will be held at a later date at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon.

The Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and the Fitchburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes, 243 Water Street, Fitchburg, MA is assisting John’s family with his funeral arrangements.


Anna Kyllikki Vahakangas (1929 – 2020)

Anna Kyllikki Vahakangas, 90, a resident of Rindge, NH slipped peacefully into glory on January 8th 2020, surrounded by family and friends. Born in Ylivieska, Finland, on December 27th, 1929, was the daughter of the late Arvi and Lyyli (Mannisto) Pinola. She, along with her husband and children, emigrated to Hyannis, MA in 1964. While living in Hyannis she worked for several businesses:The Corner Store, The Finnish Kitchen, and Viking Smokehouse. She moved from Hyannis to Asbhurnham, MA and eventually settled in Rindge, NH, where she opened Kyllikki’s Bakery, in her home, in 1987. She lovingly baked from the heart until 2018. To know her was to love her and whether you were a customer or friend, you became a part of her family. The first thing she would say when anyone stepped into her home was “Have you eaten?” and “Let me make you something.”

Kyllikki had a strong work ethic, something that made her very enjoyable to be around. She was always thinking of others and always put others first. She loved to be around her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a lifelong member of the Apostolic Lutheran Church.

Kyllikki is predeceased by her late husband Leevi, son Markku, sister Kerttu, and brother Kunnari. She is survived by her children, Pirjo Riitta Somero of Rindge, Hannu (Kimberly) Vahakangas of Rindge, Peter Vahakangas of Rindge, and Eeva (Mark) Hannu of Rindge. In addition to her children she is survived by her 22 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, as well as nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

Calling hours, funeral, and burial services were held at the Ashburnham Apostolic Lutheran Church, 315 Winchendon Rd. Ashburnham, MA 01430 on Wednesday, January 15th 2020.

In lieu of flowers the family asked that donations be made in Anna’s memory to

Published in The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript on Jan. 14, 2020

Jonathan N. Ratila, Fitchburg, MA


Jonathan N Ratila passed away on Thanksgiving Day,  11/28/2019 after a short illness at the Leominster Hospital. He was born on 6/23/1956 in Fitchburg to his parents Natalie (nee Lindstrom) and John Ratila. He is predeceased by his parents and his sister Sally Ratila, and survived by his sister Ann L Ratila of Fitchburg and his second cousins Nina Talix of Hancock, NH and Neils Hansen of Fitchburg.

After graduating from Fitchburg HS he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History in 1978 from Middlebury College, VT. A fourth generation Finnish American, he grew up in the Finnish American community in Fitchburg and was curious about the Finnish immigrants’ history from an early age. Besides his interest in history he was a member of many marching bands most of his life starting in High School playing the trombone, following his grandfather Sakri Lindstrom as a life-long trombone player himself.

As the Business Manager at the Finnish American newspaper Raivaaja from 1984 until its last publication in 2009 Jonathan was actively engaged with the area’s Finnish-American organizations and individuals. An avid reader, he took pride in running Raivaaja’s bookstore and tending Raivaaja’s book table at the Summer Festivals at Saima Park. As a journalist and historian he contributed insightful articles to Raivaaja.  His deep understanding and knowledge of American and Finnish American history impressed everyone who had a conversation with him.

Afterwards, he continued his research and archival of the Finnish American materials that were given to him by various organizations and individuals. He then forwarded the researched materials that he deemed noteworthy to different organizations for safekeeping, such as Fitchburg Historical Society and The Saima Society of Fitchburg.

His other employment included part-time work at Sulin Orchard in Fitchburg during several years and part-time work as a curator at the Finnish Cultural Center at the Fitchburg State College in which capacity he was instrumental in saving much of the Finnish American materials that were housed there prior to its closing. Jonathan’s community involvement included: Board of Directors at Workers’ Credit Union, Raivaaja Publishing Company, Finnish American Club of Saima; Trustee at Fitchburg Public Library; Collections Committee Member at Fitchburg Historical Society; Member of American Federation of Musicians – Local 173, Member of several town/military bands.   We will miss this kind, caring and loyal human being.

A memorial service will be held on January 26, 2020 at 2PM in the Meeting Hall at SAIMA PARK,  Scott Road, Fitchburg.

Lena (Kingston) Kokk, 84, Leominster, MA

Lena (Kingston) Kokk, 84, an energetic, exuberant and loving mother & sister, aunt and beloved Mummo, passed away in the early morning hours of Monday, October 8th, at Keystone Center in Leominster, MA.

Lena was born in Koivisto, Saarenpää, Finland in the year 1934; one of 3 daughters of the late Vieno Marja Kingston (Harilainen) and Adolf Kingston. At the age of 14, she immigrated to the United States with her mother and 2 sisters to meet their father in New York City. She attended and completed high school in Harlem. Soon after graduation, she met and married George Juri Kokk in New York City. Not long after, they moved to the city of Fitchburg, MA. And a few years later, they settled in the town of Lunenburg, MA. where they raised 5 children.

Lena’s love of nature and animals drew her to the outdoors, where she loved to work in the garden, walk in the woods and go cross country skiing. She instilled the love of the outdoors in all of her children. She created a home that always had bustling activity and a myriad of family pets. She was a talented seamstress and artist, winning several art show awards. She had a special love for the seaside, the beauty of the mountains and the family “camp” in Rhode Island where she would often take her children for the summers to meet and spend their days playing, swimming, hiking, blueberry picking & fishing with her mother, sisters, and their children.

During those early times, Lena was very active in the Finnish community that existed in the city. She was involved with the Finnish Center at Saima Park and worked at the Raivaaja newspaper, both in Fitchburg and involved with the Kaleva Lodge at Fort Pond in Lancaster, MA.

She was a member of the Fitchburg gymnastic team led by Toini Laakso in 1959 which then led to her 36 year involvement with the Finnish folk dance group, to become known as the Revontulet folk dancers; first as a dancer and then eventually directing the group and leading them to a memorable trip to Finland in 1987 to visit and perform. She retired from the group in 1995 but continued to stay involved in their activities.

Lena loved this country but took many opportunities to go back to her homeland, Finland and to her husband’s homeland of Estonia, to visit family and friends. She enjoyed travel to other countries and places abroad. Anyone that knew Lena could be assured of a genuine smile and conversation filled with laughter.

She leaves three daughters, Tina Kingston of Loma Linda, CA and her son, Capt. Jesse Gariepy and his wife Heather and their sons Keegan and Lukas of Clearfield, UT; Debbie LeBlanc of Tuscon, AZ and her two sons, Maj. Steven and M.Sgt. Raymond LeBlanc; and Heli Kokk of Lunenburg, MA; and two sons, Leonard Kokk of Lunenburg, MA; and retired T.Sgt. Aarne Kokk and his wife Heather and her two children Savanahah and Clayton of Pinebluff, NC. She also leaves a sister, Maija (Maunula) Siikanen of Lake Worth, FL and many nieces and nephews. Lena is predeceased by her husband George Juri Kokk, her sister Mirja Annikki Kurko and her husband (brother-in-law) Olavi Kurko, her brother-in-law Paul Maunula and her nephew and his daughter, Henry and Valerie Kurko.

At the family’s request there are no calling hours, or funeral services. A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes is directing arrangements.

Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Oct. 15, 2018

Paula J. Letellier  formerly of Fitchburg, MA

DOVER- FOXCROFT, MAINE — On November 2, 2017, Paula J. Letellier, surrounded by loving family members, passed away peacefully at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine, after a short illness. Born on November 18, 1942, in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, the daughter of Lauri and Joanne Tokoi, Paula worked most of her adult life in the nursing field with compassion for and devotion to her patients. Paula was an enthusiastic traveler in her retirement and enjoyed being a grandmother and spending time with family.
She was the beloved wife and ‘Special Angel’ of Paul Letellier, Dover Foxcroft, ME, and is survived by him and three children: Corina,  Eric, and Katherine ; a brother: Lauri Tokoi,, a sister: Linda ; six grandchildren, four nieces, and one nephew.  Paula Letellier was granddaughter of  Oskari Tokoi (RAIVAAJA editor & Workers Credit Union president).
Private services will be held.
Memorial donations can be made to the American Stroke Association.

Harry Antero Siitonen

Harry Antero Siitonen, of Berkeley Kaleva Lodge #21, passed away on May 7, 2017, in El Cerrito, Calif. He had been in declining health for some time.

The beloved poet, translator, actor, historian, secular humanist, peace and human rights activist, freethinker, atheist, vegetarian, teetotaler, democratic socialist, and union activist with a strong interest in the Finnish-American labor movement, has moved on.

(Harri was a long time supporter, writer,  and board member of RAIVAAJA)

Harry was born in Worcester, MA on March 18, 1926, to Finnish immigrants, Antti and Hanna Siitonen, nee Saikkonen, from Karelia, then the eastern part of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire. They arrived in the US in 1915.

Harry grew up in a vibrant Finnish immigrant community near Fitchburg, the great Finnish Mecca once referred to as the Helsinki of the American Finntowns.

Harry did well in school and became editor of Trade Winds, the Worcester Trade School student magazine. Besides printing it was at Trade that he first started writing and editing. He regularly hung out at the Raivaaja newspaper. He was encouraged to choose a printing career by the editor Oskari Tokoi, the first Finnish democratic prime minister, in exile in the US.  More at

Paul Kangas

‘Nightly Business Report’ anchor Paul Kangas dies at 79

Producer Wendie Feinberg Fisher, former vice president and managing editor of “Nightly Business Report,” was part of the team with Kangas that won the show’s only Emmy. She marveled at Kangas’ abilities — “a consummate professional, smooth and clear and understandable and just terrific on the air.”

Kangas, who was born in Houghton, Michigan, and who earned his broker’s license at New York University Stern School of Business, only stymied one group of people: the service responsible for WPBT’s closed captioning. “Someone was sitting in a room typing it in and they close-captioned everything but Paul’s segment. The reason they didn’t is he went so fast, crammed in so much information, so many details, so many facts, the caption people couldn’t keep up with him,” Feinberg Fisher said, laughing.

“He was always very frugal,” she added. “He drove this old, beat-up car and used to laugh in the newsroom that when he filled it with gas, it would double in value. That was so typical of him. He was careful with his money but so generous with his time and care and concern for everybody. That is what made him a special, big, warm, fabulous man.”

We close with Kangas’ signature sign-off, the one that endeared him to a national audience of more than 500,000 viewers nightly:

“I’m Paul Kangas, wishing all of you the best of good buys.”

Kangas is also survived by his granddaughter Mia Elieff. A memorial is in the planning stages.

Read more here:

Dr. Paul Niemi

Part-time Franklin Pierce professor and RAIVAAJA contributor  Dr. Paul Niemi passed away  Sunday, March 7th.

Niemi spent 13 years at Franklin Pierce where he taught Mathematics, Computer Sciences courses, and Physics. He had been involved in educational purposes his whole life ranging from teaching at the post-secondary and secondary levels.  Niemi’s lifetime career also involved working in the software engineering industry, where he worked for Digital Equipment Corporation for eighteen years.

“I had him for Physics last year, he was very helpful and would always go out of his way to answer any questions someone in class might have,” said senior Ryan Dionne.  Senior Chris Birotte had Niemi for three different courses over the years. He said, “Niemi was a great guy, he would recognize me outside of the classroom and ask how I was doing every time he saw me. He was so friendly and always tried his hardest to help you out.”

Niemi taught classes during the current semester, students in those classes currently have a temporary teacher. As of right now there is no permanent replacement.

The school will release information regarding the memorial services as they become available.

James A. Oikelmus; 64

FITCHBURG — James A. Oikelmus, 64, died unexpectedly at home on Friday, February 26.
James was born in Fitchburg, son of Arthur B. and Hazel C. (Salo) Oikelmus and was a lifelong resident. James graduated from Fitchburg High School in 1970. James was employed at Cleghorn Oil Co. for many years as a home oil delivery driver.
Summers were spent and enjoyed at the family camp in New Ipswich, N.H. where James was an active member of the Pratt Pond Association. Sharing time with family was most important to James.
James is survived by his brother, Steven J. Oikelmus of Fitchburg and his sister, Sharon E. Oikelmus of Bedford, N.H.; and a niece, Anna S. Turcote of Bedford, N.H.
James’ sisters, Janice Oikelmus and Irene Oikelmus perished in a fire in their home on February 10, 2016. His nephew, Adam J. Bookhamer died in 2015.

OIKELMUS — Memorial services for James, Irene and Janice will be held at a later date at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a in James’s name. Bosk Funeral Home, 85 Blossom St.. is assisting the family.   
Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Mar. 3, 2016

Irene A. Oikelmus; 62  March 25, 1953 – February 10, 2016
Fitchburg – Irene A. Oikelmus, 62, perished as the result of a fire in her home on Wednesday, February 10 that also took the life of her sister Janice A. Oikelmus .   Irene was born in Fitchburg, the daughter of Arthur B. and Hazel C.  Oikelmus and was a lifelong resident. She graduated from Fitchburg High School in 1971 and attended Mt. Wachusett Community College and Fitchburg State University. She retired from Verizon after 26 years of service. She was a U.S. Army Veteran and was stationed in Germany.  She enjoyed gardening and spending time at the family camp in New Ipswich, N.H.  Irene leaves her brothers, Steven J. Oikelmus and James B. Oikelmus, both of Fitchburg; her sister, Sharon E. Oikelmus of Bedford N.H. Her niece, Anna Turcotte of Bedford, N.H.   Her son, Adam Bookhamer died in 2015.  Day and time for funeral services for Irene will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a in Irene’s name. Bosk Funeral Home, 85 Blossom St. is assisting the family.

Janice A. Oikelmus; 58  November 30, 1957 – February 10, 2016   Fitchburg – Janice A. Oikelmus, 58, perished as the result of a fire in her home on Wednesday, February 10.  Janice was born in Fitchburg, the daughter of Arthur B. and Hazel C. Oikelmus. Janice grew up in Fitchburg and graduated from Fitchburg High School in 1975 and was a member of the high school band. She was a Licensed Massage Therapist and worked in the San Francisco area for a number of years before returning to the Fitchburg area in 2009.  Janice was very interested and active in Fitchburg’s political and cultural events.   She was also a very active member of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church and served on several committees. Summers were spent enjoying time at the family camp in New Ipswich, N.H. and gardening.   Janice is survived by her brothers, Steven J. Oikelmus and James B. Oikelmus, both of Fitchburg, her sister, Sharon E. Oikelmus of Bedford, N.H.; her niece, Anna S. Turcotte of Bedford, N.H.

Day and time for funeral services for Janice, Irene, and James will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the New England Organ Bank, 60 First Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451 in Janice’s name. Bosk Funeral Home, 85 Blossom St. is assisting the family.   Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Feb. 26, 2016

Wayne John Paananen 64, of Fitchburg

FITCHBURG — Wayne John Paananen 64, of Fitchburg, died Friday, February 19, 2016 in Health Alliance Leominster Hospital. He was born in August, 1951, in Fitchburg, MA, was the son of Waino and Ellen Paananen. 

He graduated from Fitchburg High School. Wayne worked at the former Digital Co. for 15 years, and the Fitchburg Sentinel for 10 years. He was an avid sports fan, Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and NASCAR. Wayne was a United States Army Veteran of the Vietnam War Era, attaining the rank of SP4, and earning the National Defense Service Medal, and the Sharpshooter Rifle Medal. 

PAANANEN — Burial with Military Honors will be on Friday, February 26, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. in Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 111 Glen Allen St., Winchendon. Wright-Roy Funeral Home, 109 West St., Leominster is directing arrangements. To light a candle, sign the guestbook or send a message of condolence please visit

Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Feb. 24, 2016

Tenho ‘Tony’ M. Nappari; 92

FITCHBURG — Tenho “Tony” M. Nappari, 92, a longtime resident of Fitchburg, died Friday, Dec. 18, in the Highlands Care Center, Fitchburg, surrounded by his loving family.
He leaves his wife of 60 years, Valentine M. (Shepard) Nappari; two sons, Michael J. Nappari of Athol, MA and Mark A. Nappari of Norwell, MA.
He was predeceased by a sister, Ann Gagnon of Fitchburg.
Mr. Nappari was employed at the former Sears and Roebuck store on Main Street in Fitchburg. He began his career with Sears as a setup person for the installation of Sears heating units. Later, he acted as the manager of the Furniture and Appliance Departments and worked there for 40 years, retiring in 1988.
Tony was a lifelong, very active member of the Faith United Parish in Fitchburg, where he acted as a Deacon and Elder of the Church. He was a 1940 graduate of Fitchburg High School. He was an avid Fisherman and in his retirement, he and his wife enjoyed traveling to many parts of the world.
He was a Veteran of Word War II, serving as a Naval Aviator with the rank of Ensign in the U.S. Navy. He was a member of the American Legion Post #429.
Tenho was born in Westminster, MA on January 19, 1923, a son of the late Matti and Riika (Aho) Nappari.

 His funeral service will be celebrated on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 11 a.m. in the Faith United Parish, 820 Main St., Fitchburg, MA. Pastor Jeff Conlon will officiate. Calling hours in the Faith United Church will be Tuesday, Dec.22 from 10 to 11 a.m. Burial with Full Military Honors will follow in Woodside Cemetery, Westminster, MA. Flowers may be sent or memorial contributions may be made to the Faith United Memorial Fund, 820 Main St., Fitchburg, MA 01420. The Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and Fitchburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes, 243 Water St., Fitchburg has been entrusted with directing Funeral arrangements. Please visit www.masciarellifamilyfuneralhomes.netfor further information.

Jean M. Pearson  of Fitchburg; 81

FITCHBURG — Jean M. (Mustakangas) Pearson, 81, of Fitchburg, died Friday, December 4, 2015 in The Highlands.
Jean was born in Fitchburg, December, 1933, daughter of George H. and Rauha (Koski) Mustakangas and was a lifelong resident of Fitchburg. She was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church and had been a member of the choir, and member of the Fitchburg Sportsmans Club. She had been a member of the Fitchburg Citizens Patrol. Jean was a graduate of Fitchburg High School, class of 1951. She enjoyed sewing and knitting.
         She leaves her husband, Charles R. “Bob” Pearson Sr., her two sons, Charles R. Pearson Jr and his wife, Paula and Ralph A. Pearson and his wife, Karen, both of Fitchburg, four granddaughters, Kristen Auger, Kara Martin, Kandace Primeau, and Kaitlyn Pearson, seven great-grandchildren; and one niece.   She was predeceased by her brother, George Mustakangas and a nephew.
       A Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 10:00 am in the Aubuchon-Moorcroft Funeral Home, 132 Woodland St., Fitchburg. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery Fitchburg. Calling hours will be held Tuesday evening from 5 until 7 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jean’s memory may be made to the Messiah Lutheran Church, 750 Rindge Rd., Fitchburg MA 01420.

TOWNSEND — Elsie E. (Ornqvist) Nortonen, 102, formerly of Fitchburg Road and Merriam Avenue, Fitchburg, died Thursday, November 19, 2015, at Meridian Manor, Waterbury, CT.
Her husband, Richard H. Nortonen, died in August 1995.
Mrs. Nortonen is survived by her daughter, Elaine E. Zonas of Waterbury, CT; her son, Allan R. Nortonen of Billerica; three grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
She was the sister of the late Helen Campbell of Queens, NY.
Mrs. Nortonen was born in Finland, November 23, 1912, a daughter of John and Lizzie (Finni) Ornqvist and resided over 30 years in Townsend before moving to Fitchburg in 1984. In 2006, she moved to Waterbury to be closer to her daughter.

      For 24 years, Mrs. Nortonen worked as an inspector at Foster Grant Company in Leominster, retiring in 1976. She was a member of the Elm Street Congregational Church in Fitchburg, as well as the Retired Women’s Club, Fitchburg Boosters Club, Friends of Fitchburg Seniors and the Leominster Homemakers.
       A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family at Hillside Cemetery, Highland Street, Townsend. There are no calling hours. The Anderson Funeral Home, 250 Main Street, Townsend is assisting the family with arrangements. Please see www.andersonfuneral.comfor additional information.

Grafton – James J. Koskinen, 74, of Grafton, passed away on November  2015, in the home he loved, here in New England. His loving wife of thirty-four years, E. Anne (Williamson) Koskinen, predeceased him in 2004.

Jim is survived by a son, J. Matthew Koskinen and his wife Amy of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan and their children, Gabriel and Anne. He is also survived by a sister, Karen Sandini of Clearwater, Florida; brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends. Jim was born in Worcester and was the son of the late Carl W. and Miriam G. (Hikly) Koskinen. He grew up in Worcester and later proudly served his nation in the United States Air Force. 

Jim graduated from Boston University and later moved to Syracuse, NY where he earned an MBA from Syracuse University. He would later move to Westfield, before settling in Grafton in 1975, with his wife Anne. He retired in 1999 as Purchasing Manager for A.D.E. Magnetics Company. He had previously operated his own machine shop Hollander & Johnson Company in Worcester.

Jim had a life-long affinity for cars and motorcycles, and upon his retirement he was able to become more involved in race car driving with his Lotus Formula Ford and Lotus 23B cars. Racing became a family affair, and Jim was proud to cheer for and be a part of his son’s racing here in the US as well as in the UK. Together they shared their love of cars and speed. Some of his happiest memories were at the track with friends he made during those times. He was a member of the Sports Car Club of America.

He was known by family and friends as a skilled “tinkerer” and would spend countless hours working on cars, motorcycles, and equipment for the gardens at his home. He and his wife Anne enjoyed their many trips to Europe and Hawaii. He was a member of the Congregational Church in Grafton, and he enjoyed reading, gardening, and, of course, cars. He was a connoisseur of fine dining, wine, and good conversation, especially with family and friends. Although Jim at times displayed curmudgeonly behavior, those who knew him well saw his true nature as a loving brother, husband, father, and grandfather and loyal friend.

Calling hours for Jim will be held on Friday, November 20, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. in MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation Street, Worcester. His funeral service will be on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in the funeral home. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Grafton.

Memorials may be made for Anne’s Garden at the Willard House Clock Museum, 11 Willard Road, Grafton, MA 01536.

Douglas L. Riikonen, 71 years old, of Wellesley, died Friday, October 23, 2015 in Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Douglas was born August, 1944 the son of Toivo and Mary Riikonen of Lunenburg. He is survived by his daughter Kirstin L. McMann and her husband Earl of Stoughton, as well as Earl’s sons, Ross McMann and Sean McMann. He also survived by his son Chad D. Riikonen of Wellesley, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Douglas was predeceased by his wife of 33 years, Patricia J. Riikonen, his brother Roger Riikonen and his sister Evelyn Plunkett.

Douglas was a graduate of Lunenburg High School, where he was class president. He was a 4 year U.S. Air Force Veteran, where he served as a Radar Technician. He was a graduate of the University of Lowell, where he earned a B.S. in Engineering. His career included many years in the computer industry, primarily with Digital Equipment Corporation and Computervision. He then completed his career at Commonwealth Corporation from which he retired. Most recently he was an independent consultant.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, October 30, 2015 at 11:30 am in the Silas F. Richardson & Son Funeral Home, 106 West Street, Leominster. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Leominster. A calling hour will be held on Friday, October 30th from 10:30 to 11:30 am in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or to Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Attn; Contributions, One Intrepid Square, W 46TH Street & 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

WESTMINSTER — Waino W. Niemi, 87, died peacefully at his home on Sunday, October 25, 2015, after an illness.

He leaves his wife, Roxcine (Andreasson) Niemi; his son, Wayne Niemi and his wife Carol of Winchendon; a daughter-in-law, Denise Niemi of Ashburnham; three grandchildren, Michelle Losurdo and her husband Joe of Winchendon, Lisa Christian and her husband Mike of Fitchburg, and Zachary Niemi of Martha’s Vineyard; two great-granddaughters, Marisa and Kaitlyn Losurdo, and many nieces and nephews.    Waino was predeceased by another son Steven Niemi. Waino was the last of his eleven brothers and sisters.

He was born in Fitchburg, in October 1928 a son of the late Kasper and Hilma (Koski) Niemi. He graduated from Fitchburg High School, and served in the US Army during the Korean War. Waino worked for Crocker Tech in Fitchburg as an electrician.

Waino was a member of the Westminster VFW, the William S. Miller American Legion Post #174, the Aurora Lodge of Masons, the Gardner Chapter Harris Council, Alleppo Temple of Shriners, the Westminster Square and Compass Club.

A Graveside service will be held on Saturday, October 31, 2015, at 10:00 a.m., at the Woodside Cemetery, 9 Narrows Road, Westminster, MA.

CAMBRIDGE — Lyyli Esteri (Lamsa) Newton of Cambridge, passed away October 17, 2015, after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late Norman T. Newton, Charles Eliot Professor of Landscape Architecture.

Lyyli was born in Westminster; the daughter of the late Mikko and Ellen (Juslin) Lamsa. She moved with her family to Fitchburg and graduated from Fitchburg High School in 1942. She received her B.A. from Boston University in 1947 and attended classes at the Boston Architectural Center. She went on to become the Executive Secretary for Admissions and Financial Aid at Harvard University School of Design.

Mrs. Newton tirelessly assisted her husband in proofreading his book, “Design on the Land”. She was an avid painter, poet, pianist and writer. In her later years, she enjoyed painting and drawing in the art room at Neville Place.

Mrs. Newton is survived by her nieces and nephews, Lorna Lamsa, Dean Lamsa, Marcia Robinson, Judith Warmer, Justin Lamsa, Michael Lamsa, William Crawford, Martha Crawford and Patricia Pires. She was the sister of the late Tyyne, Taimi, Arvo, Toivo, Urho, Oskar, Oiva and Alvah.

NEWTON — A Memorial service will be held October 24th at 1 P.M. at Christ Church Cambridge, Zero Garden St. Memorial gifts may be made to Christ Church Cambridge. Arrangements under the direction of Anderson-Bryant Funeral Home of Stoneham.

William J. Kymalainen Sr.; 71   Beloved husband, father, and grandfather

FITCHBURG — William J. Kymalainen Sr., 71, died Friday, September 18, 2015, at the HealthAlliance Leominster Hospital after an illness.      He leaves his wife, Ida M. (Korkala) “Crowley” Kymalainen; two sons, W. John Kymalainen Jr., and his wife, Penney; David W. Kymalainen and his partner, Shalene “Shay”; one daughter, Cheryl (Kymalainen) Koula; all of Fitchburg, two stepchildren, Ronald Crowley of Fitchburg, and Jill Langdon of Rockland, ME; four grandchildren, Cory Marcoux, A.J. Kymalainen, Joshua Koula; and Rachel Koula, three step-grandchildren, Margarette Langdon-Lewis, Katherine Langdon, Natisha Norton-Crowley; four step-great-grandchildren, Tristan Langdon, Alyssa Lewis, Aidyn Davis, and Gavin Davis: one brother, Peter Kymalainen of Fitchburg.  William was born in Fitchburg, on October 14, 1943, a son of the late Arthur and Mary J. (Bianchini) Kymalainen. He was a 1962 graduate of Fitchburg High School.

He worked as a paper maker for James River Paper Company, as well as several others.

He was an avid fisherman, he participated in the 1978 6 man team from Massachusetts, and fishing in the Bass Master Classic in Alabama. He was a lifelong homing pigeon enthusiast, acing them and winning the 1993, BBR. William was published in the Bass Masters Magazine, and was a life member of the Fitchburg Sportsmen’s Club, the Finnish Center at Saima Park and enjoyed hunting.

The William’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the GNVA Home Health Care and Hospice for all the care and help that they gave to the Kymalainen Family.

 Vieno (Kouvo) Rantala, 90, of Ashby, died Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in her home.  She was  a loving mother, grandmother, sister.
She was born in Sakkijarvi, Finland on Aug. 1925, a daughter of the late Eino and Lyyti (Tohmo) Kouvo. Vieno had lived in Sweden for four years then Toronto for a year before coming to the United States 55 years ago.
She was a member of the Ladies of Kaleva for over 25 years and an avid gardener with a green thumb.
Her husband, Tauno , died in 1985.
She leaves two daughters, Heidi DeLorme and her husband, Scott  and Anne Drumstas and her husband, Michael ; a son, Leif Kouvo and his wife, Jill ; a brother, Pentti Kouvo and his wife, Sirkka in Finland; two sisters, Helmi Leppanen and her husband, Lauri and Kylliki Sandell, all in Finland; six grandchildren,  and many nephews and nieces.
 Her funeral was held on  Aug. 12, at  the T.J. Anderson Funeral Home.  Memorial contributions may be made to The Ashby Council On Aging Gift Account, 895 Main St., Ashby, MA 01431. For further information or to leave an online condolence, please visit

ESKO E. HALLILA (Age 93)  

On Monday, June 23, 2014, predeceased by his wife of nearly 50 years Gertude Hallila (nee Tilley); father of Bruce (Pam) Hallila, Brian (Jo) Hallila, and Joyce (Mark) Musser. Also survived by nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Esko was an immigrant from Finland, a Marine Corps veteran of WWII and the Korean conflict, an electrical engineer with the VA, a winning senior Olympics swimmer, a patriotic American citizen, and devoted follower of Christ. Funeral service will be held at Riderwood Chapel, 3110 Gracefield Road, Silver Spring, MD on Saturday, June 28, at 10 a.m. Interment Cedar Hill Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project and or the East-West Ministries International (Account 4040).

Darlene Reimers Hill of Canterbury, New Hampshire, and Newport, Rhode Island, died at her Canterbury home on April 15 at the age of 71. A native of Texas, she moved to New England to attend graduate school at the University of Rhode Island where she earned Master’s degrees both in English and in Library Science as well as her Ph.D. in English.Over the years, she was fond of saying that she had always been attracted by the ocean and that she sometimes felt as though she had been born in the wrong part of the country. The opportunity to study for a graduate degree near the south coast of the “Ocean State” was clearly not something to be passed up. She felt a kinship with this part of the country, and she lived here in New England for the remaining 49 years of her life.Possessing keen powers of observation and an acutely analytical mind, Darlene could easily have pursued a number of different fields of study, but she had a particular love of literature, both the personal enjoyment gained in reading it as well as the pleasure derived from teaching it to her college students. Her varied personal tastes ranged from eighteenth century British satirists to contemporary American woman writers of the South. She and her husband, Dennis, to whom she had been married for almost 44 years, became known for offering refuge to stray cats at their Newport home. Not that there were that many other people who knew about this second occupation of theirs. Rather, it was the sick and the injured cats, themselves, who seemed always to find their way to the doorstep of the Hills. After obtaining any necessary medical care for these visitors with unknown pasts, Darlene and her husband would then provide them a place to live out the remainder of their lives, if that is what they wished to do. After retiring early from college teaching in Rhode Island, she and her husband bought a home in Canterbury. They then would divide their time between the two states, traveling back and forth several times a year. It was in Canterbury that she developed a love for the wildlife that would wander out of the woods and just take life easy in either the front or the side yard. Fox, bears, deer, and wild turkeys were frequent visitors and provided endless stories to relay to friends in other states.She lived a shorter time than she should have, and she will be missed with profound sadness.  She is to be cremated, and her ashes will be cast upon the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, which she loved so much.

Richard A. Impola NEW PALTZ  91, formerly Associate Professor at SUNY New Paltz, died on March 18, 2015, at the Mid-Hudson Regional Medical Center in Poughkeepsie. He was born in Ahmeek, Mich., and graduated from Calumet High School in Calumet, Michigan. After high school, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He served in the European Theater in the Second World War and was wounded twice, earning a Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. After leaving the Army, he enrolled at Columbia University, where he earned a BA and MA, and later a PhD. He came to SUNY New Paltz in 1963 and taught there until his retirement in 1983. After retiring, he began translating Finnish poetry and novels into English. His translations were published in the U.S. and Canada, and the Finnish government recognized his dedication by awarding him the medal of Knight First Class of the Order of the Lion of Finland at the Finnish Embassy in Washington DC in 2003. He was an avid runner, and he enjoyed running in the Shawangunk Mountains, especially the Minnewaska State Park. He ran in many races, including the New York and Boston marathons, and made good friends among the members of the Onteora Runners Club. He also loved music, and enjoyed singing and dancing.  See more at:

Douglas D. Aho   of Fitzwilliam, NH; 52

FITZWILLIAM, NH — Douglas D. Aho, 52, of Fitzwilliam, N.H. passed away peacefully at his home on June 19, 2015.

Doug was born on September 17, 1962, in Peterborough, NH, son of the late William and Raili (Honkala) Aho. He was a 1980 graduate of Masenic High School in New Ipswich and had been a self-employed carpenter working throughout the Monadnock Region for many years. For most of his life, Doug called the Monadnock Region his home, living primarily in New Ipswich and Rindge. 

Doug was very creative and artistic with his woodworking ability. He enjoyed spending time with his family, especially with his children and grandchildren. He also liked being outdoors on his boat and at the ocean. 

In addition to his parents, Doug was predeceased by his son Zachary Aho. 

Doug is survived by his love and best friend who shared their lives together, Melissa Cocci of Fitzwilliam, NH; his daughter, Brittany Aho of Brookline, NH; his son Sean Aho and wife Mollie of Wilton, NH; mother of his children Patricia Aho of Brookline, NH; his 2 grandchildren, Jordin Schuler and Sean Aho; his 4 brothers, Raymond Aho of New Ipswich, NH, and James Aho, Mark Aho and Daniel Aho, all of Rindge, NH; his 4 sisters, Patricia Aho of Menahga, MN, Faythe Kantola of Taylors, SC, Peggy Aho of Frazee, MN and Judith Aho of Chassell, MI, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends. 

AHO — Family and friends are invited to calling hours on Thursday, June 25, 2015, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Cournoyer Funeral Home, 33 River Street, (Rte. 202) in Jaffrey.

Funeral services will be held on Friday at 11:00 AM in the Christian Outreach Church, 199 North Street, Rindge, NH 03461.

To share photos and memories or to send a condolence to Doug’s family, please visit his permanent online memorial at

For those who are unable to attend, the funeral service will also be available to be viewed later on Doug’s memorial page on

SPRINGFIELD, Vermont — Rodney Arthur Tulonen, 67, of Springfield, Vermont, died  in May  2015, at Glencliff Home in New Hampshire, after a courageous struggle with early onset Alzheimer’s for over 10 years.

He leaves his wife of 23 years, Patricia Magrosky of Springfield, VT; a son Gregory Tulonen and his wife, Kate of Auburn, Maine; two step-sons, Matt and Nick Matush of Springfield, VT; two grandsons, Connor and Riley Tulonen; his mother, Anna Tulonen of Fitchburg, MA; two sisters, Joanne Tulonen of Seattle, WA. and Elaine T. Pierce and her partner, Joel Slutsky of Alstead, NH; a long-time friend, Claude Caswell of Rochester, NH; and many nieces and nephews.

Rodney Tulonen was born in Fitchburg, MA in 1947. He was predeceased by his father, Reino K. Tulonen and his sister, Betty I. Tulonen.

He was an athlete-winning a state championship in cross-country and track at Fitchburg High School and a record-setting runner in the two mile at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he was captain of the Bowdoin cross-country team.

He was a scholar. Rod was valedictorian of his graduating class at Fitchburg High in 1965, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English with honors from Bowdoin College; a Master’s Degree in Secondary School Administration at Antioch College and a Master’s Degree in Internet Strategy Management from Marlboro College.

Most of all, Rod was a man who championed others, particularly the disadvantaged and vulnerable. As principal of Riverside Middle School, in Springfield, VT, Rod was fair to every child, but he was particularly protective of the children who needed extra attention. He was the kind of man who trained kids for the Special Olympics, stood up to abusive parents and bullies, fought fiercely for his students and teachers and made every school he worked in a safe, positive place where everyone could thrive. He was the kind of man who went the extra mile for anyone who needed his guidance and his strength. Rod’s family, friends, and colleagues called him “The Principal of the World” because he exuded strength, courage and honesty.

He jousted with the world with mischievous bravado, was a photographer with a keen eye for detail, and a poet whose words touched the heart. He was the twinkle in the eye of fate, the light in every room he occupied. There was no joke too silly for him to tell, no prank too childish to pull out of his hat. He was the man who refused to be dull and predictable. He was the handsome hero who could laugh at himself most of all and so made everyone around him more free and joyful-especially children-and those who loved him.

As a husband to his cherished Pat, father to Greg, stepfather to Matt and Nick, grandfather to Connor and Riley, son to Anna and Reino, brother to Joanne, Betty, Elaine and Claude; colleague and friend to all fortunate enough to share life with him, Rod was a man who brought love and laughter into every day. He was witty and playful, with a flair for the dramatic and unexpected. He was both eloquent and unpretentious, both pragmatic and idealistic. He was our Don Quixote, our brave and gentle warrior, forever young. No one loved life more than Rod and no one was more willing to share that joy. The world will never see another Rod Tulonen.

A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church of Weathersfield, 79 Weathersfield Center Rd., Perkinsville, VT 05151 on June 26, 2015 at 2 P.M. Contributions may be made to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (a fund that supports research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s) in memory of Rodney Tulonen.

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