Elmar PoldmaaOn May 2, 2015 we said goodbye to our father, grandfather, and great grandfather Elmar Poldmaa.

Born June 28, 1925, in Liikvald, Estonia to Gustav Feldt and Emilie Johanna Udeberg. Predeceased by wife Ebba Marits and siblings Kaarel-Robert, Rudolf, Roland, Erich, Rein, Helga, and Alma Poldmaa-Heinaste. Survived by Salme Wandinger, and Luule Kindel. Elmar is survived by his children; Enn (Robin MacIntyre), Helle Stier (Ron), Taimi, Kaja (Sean Creagh), Alar (Pam), Tarmo (Christine Rask). “Isa” will be missed by his grandchildren; Tyler (Cheryl), Ashley (Brad Leeson) and Lauren Alleway (Kurt Bevan); Taavi, Sasha, Maia, and Kenzie Steir; Ryan and Deven Creagh; Kara Li (Tyson Souliere), Heidi (Tom Moran), and Eerik (Lidianne) Poldmaa; and Marin, Halaina, and Camaryne Poldmaa-Rask. Great grandfather to Hazel, Tanner, Miles, Cooper, Spencer, Lillian, Joosef, and Aksel; and uncle to many nieces and nephews in Estonia, Germany, Sweden and Canada.

Elmar left Estonia in 1944 at the age of 17, serving in the Estonian army during WWII. His harrowing escape from Estonia and war adventures are the stuff of legend. He met Ebba in London England, married and emigrated to Larder Lake Ontario in 1955, and then to Sault Ste. Marie in 1965. Although raised to be a farmer in Estonia, life took a different turn and Elmar went on to be a merchant mariner, a coal miner in England, a gold miner in Ontario and Quebec (where he rescued two men in a cave-in), to a happier career of custodian for the Algoma District School Board. He will be fondly remembered at many schools throughout Sault Ste. Marie by former students and staff. Elmar and Ebba instilled in their children a strong sense of pride in their Estonian heritage. Elmar had a passion for all history that included family, languages, and ancient cultures. Their immediate family and their many friends have all been blessed with his great sense of humour, and his encouragement and support. His life was spent for the betterment of his family, having seen what true deprivation meant. Elmar loved the outdoors. He liked to ski, to sauna, and was the ultimate beachcomber. Smoking all kinds of meat was a passion. He honoured the outdoors and nature by creating masterpieces from driftwood found walking shorelines. This artwork is known worldwide. Isa had an extraordinary last week of life. He started the week off with a family dinner in the Sault, then to Goulais River with family and friends, dancing and enjoying music, and then off to for a weekend in Old Mill Bay to have Ted’s maple syrup, sun bathe, watch for smelts, enjoying the warm sand and sunsets.

Many thanks to the staff at Kotitalo, Ontario Finnish Rest Home, where Elmar resided happily for the past year.

We extend thanks to the CNIB, Matt at Armstrong Listening Labs, and Penny Leishman for their excellent care throughout the years.

Special thanks to OPP officers Luigi Bruni and Mario Posteraro for their kind assistance.

As our family gathers together we invite friends to join us on Thursday May 7, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Arthur Funeral Home & Cremation Centre.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to the CNIB and the Ontario Finnish Rest Home are appreciated.

Expressions of sympathy may be offered at www.arthurfuneralhome.com