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VIRTANEN, Hilkka Orvokki

Rakas aiti, sisko, kaikki vauvasta vaarin, loistava, tati, ja ystavani

(Beloved mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and special friend)

Hilkka Orvokki Virtanen was born May 5, 1925, in Finland and passed away peacefully on Sept. 18, 2013.

Predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Erkki, and her beautiful granddaughter, Taunya. Hilkka is survived by her sons Leo (Sandy), Tauno (Sue-Anne), Harry (Lauri); her grandchildren Janine, Jeff (Lisa), Dan (Chrystyne), Linsey, Trevor (Erin), Erik (Tasha), Lizzie (Andrew); her sister Aino (Paavo), nephew Ake (Eva), niece Margareth from Sweden; and 13 great-grandchildren plus numerous family members in Finland and Sweden.

After leaving Finland in 1952, Hilkka settled in Ladysmith, B.C. with Erkki, where they raised three boys and slowly made their way “up the hill” from 1st Avenue to Stillin Drive to Malone Road. Hilkka loved her crafts, her gardening, her baking, and most of all, her growing family. Her gentle spirit and caring heart filled her house with love, where the door was always open to family and friends for tea (or coffee), stories, laughter, or simply quiet company while listening to Finnish music. Hilkka’s lettus, pulla, and her famous rice dish are legendary among her loving family. Throughout her years in Ladysmith, Hilkka could also be found at birthdays and holiday get-togethers, and around the town supporting her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren at any number of local events. Her love, kindness, and presence in our lives will be dearly missed.

Though Hilkka remained self-sufficient in her own home until a month before her passing, she spent her last month in the Palliative Care wing of Nanaimo General Hospital. Her family would like to thank Dr. Julian Lisinski and the incredible Palliative Care staff from the depths of their hearts.

There will be a Celebration of Life tea at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 825 Malone Road.

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