VALJA, Paavo Vihtori


∼March 4, 1939 – February 3, 2018∼

Paavo passed away peacefully at the Algoma Residential Community Hospice with his family by his side.

Survived by his wife Anja, daughters Susan Butler (Mark), Shari Valja (Mike Gregory), and Melissa Valja, and grandchildren, Caden and Cameron Butler, siblings Kyllikki Rantanen and Esa Valja in Finland and Eeva Hoeser in California, uncle to many, and cousin to Alf Wuori, here in Sault Ste. Marie, and many cousins in Finland.

Born in Kauhajoki, Finland, he was a part of a large family growing up on a rural farm. Paavo immigrated to Canada in 1960, and Sault Ste. Marie became his home. An adventurous spirit, he served as a Finnish UN Peacekeeper in 1965 in Cyprus. He married Anja in Finland in 1971 and they began their life together in Canada. They lived in Wawa for a few years, and in White River for 26 years.

He spent 37 years working in the logging industry starting with a chain saw and ending with a grapple skidder. A gifted woodworker and craftsman, he made many tables, clocks, knives and moose calls. Paavo and Anja spent much time outdoors moose-hunting with friends, fishing, blueberry picking, and getting firewood.

In 2003, they moved back to the Sault to enjoy their retirement. Paavo and Anja built a camp in Goulais in the early 1970’s. He cut down the logs and with the help of friends, they built a beautiful log cabin. Over the years, many treasured memories were created with family and friends.

A Private Service will be held at the Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel. A Celebration of Life will be held in the summer at the family camp in Goulais.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Sault Ste. Marie Humane Society, ARCH, or the charity of your choice.

Many thanks go out to Dr. Nikki Apostle, Nurses Susan and Suzie from Bayshore, and PSW James from WeCare. In his final two days, he received excellent and compassionate care from ARCH. Thanks also to the many friends who visited and gave their love and support.