September 16, 1941—February 12, 2021
It is 1951 as five siblings depart Korso, Finland accompanied by their mother en route to Canada to join their father who preceded them to finally settle in Sointula, a tiny, west coast community. Raija was ten years of age and spoke no English. Her first frustration was being placed with younger children after enrollment in school, a result of the language barrier. This was followed by the confusion over the ideosyncrasies of the English language—meet/meat—for/ four /fore. In short order however, she proved to be a very capable student.
As birth mother to four exceptional children and later as mother to an additional two, the extended family grew to six. Maturity witnessed the addition of 13 grandchildren (9 boys/4 girls) and two great-grandchildren (1 boy/1girl). She is survived by her immediate family of three loving sisters. She was predeceased by father, brother, mother and one sister in that order.
Raija was very involved as a resident in various B.C. communities volunteering, working and participating in curling, cross-country skiing, golf and slowpitch. Although diminutive in size, she was accomplished in these physical pursuits. In the winter months in Clearwater B.C., she could be observed casually skiing around Dutch Lake with her trusty companion, Sandy (spaniel) lapping with ease, others on the lake training to compete in cross-country marathon.
Acquaintances and friends are many and Raija was meticulous in remembering birthdays and anniversaries and took great pleasure in acknowledging these through the years. But first and foremost, Raija was all about FAMILY. In her role as loving wife and confidante, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, her guidance, influence and support, will be forever cherished. Words cannot ever express enough, by all who were fortunate to know and love such an indomitable spirit. Raija never deviated from her belief of never judge anyone until you walk in their shoes.
Raija succumbed to coronary heart disease with husband Don and daughter Anita at bedside on her final day. Family wish to thank all staff at both the Vernon and Kelowna hospitals for the compassionate care of their loved one. Donations to the Heart Foundation in lieu of flowers is appreciated. A Celebration of Life is anticipated when it is safe to do so. Alternatives in Armstrong has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Oh I am so sorry to here this . We have been thinking about Raija and Don as we drive past Armstrong to go to necessary appts . Waiting for this pandemic to be over now that we are both retired and can come and go as we can ! She was such a bright bubbly lady !
We will miss Raija very much. We will treasure the memories of all the happy hours and meals at their house and ours. We will treasure the memories of all the golf games, and of the winters we spent together in Arizona. Raija was a very thoughtful and generous friend. Our sincere condolences to Don and all their families. Larry and Blanche Delanoy