You are here


Mrs. Saimi (Mummo) Kolehmainen, 89, a resident of Thunder Bay, Ont., passed away unexpectedly at Dawson Court on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 with family by her side.

Saimi was born Nov. 6, 1924 in Tuppurinmaki, Finland.

She served in the Finnish Army and, in 1944, married Matti, having 59 years together raising a family. They immigrated to Canada (Port Arthur) in 1957 with their young family to start a new life.

Saimi was first a homemaker when the children were young, then later worked at various jobs cleaning or cooking. Many days were enjoyed picking berries and fishing with the family, and later alone with Matti.

Mummo loved to work with her hands—which were never idle—and she spent hours making gifts for her family, which will be treasured always. Socks and mitts were always available for anyone who needed them.

Mummo was an excellent cook and also loved to bake. Many hours were spent around the kitchen table enjoying her Finnish rye bread and pulla and various pies, blueberry being the favourite of all.

She was a devoted grandma and spent many hours looking after her grandchildren, with whom she somehow managed to keep up with. Laughter often would overcome her at their antics and the children adored her.

Saimi also was a terrific seamstress and sewed many wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses. She taught her daughters her many skills, and those skills have been very much used and appreciated.

Saimi is survived by her children, Vuokko “Vi” (Dan) Belluz and children, Patricia (Doug) Cates and Christina; Erkki “Eric” (Debbie) Kolehmainen and children, Liisa (Karl Bouchard), Kaija (Ben) LeCocq, and Derek (Lindsey Pankiw); Kaisa (Lauri) Penttinen and children, Paula and Hannes; Ansa (Barry) Newton and children, Michael (Andrea), Laura (Jason Bett), and Kelly; Maija (Richard) Rigey and children, Mailis (Jana) Hamilton Rigey, Matthew (Jenn Grant), and Mark (Sylvia); and Lea (John) Hayes and daughters, Ashla, Alysha, and Kirsti; and great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn “Kaidi”, Hailey, Ben, Reece, Olivia, Svea, Hayden, Jude, and Max.

She was predeceased by her husband, Matti; and in Finland by her parents, Paavo and Siiri Sikanen; sister, Raija; and brothers, Reino and Eino.

A private family entombment of cremains will take place at Sunset Memorial Gardens at a later date.

As expressions of sympathy, in memoriam donations may be made to the charity of your choice.