It is with great sadness that the family of Anna Karoliina Ikäheimonen announce her passing. Anna died peacefully on April 26, 2023 at age 99 in Montreal, Quebec.
Anna was born on December 13, 1923 to Taavetti Ikäheimonen and Karoliina (nee Jääskeläinen) in Heinävesi, Finland. She was the youngest of nine children. The family had a rural homestead where traditional farming and forestry skills were practiced: birch bark was woven into baskets, linen was made from the flax grown on the farm, knitting woolens were all part of her heritage. Skiing to school in winter is also part of her history.
During World War II Anna worked for the Finnish railroad and was named a war veteran for that service. Life in post-war Europe was not easy and she took an opportunity to emigrate as the Canadian Government was recruiting workers from Nordic countries. She settled in Montreal in 1951 and became part of a thriving Finnish community. She worked as a domestic. Pirjo, her first daughter was born in 1952.
Anna met Edward Komulainen at the Scandinavian Club and they married in 1954. Their first child died tragically at birth and she felt the loss keenly all her life. After David was born, the family moved to Terrasse Vaudreuil, where the setting beside the Lake of Two Mountains and nearby woods was conducive to gardening, fishing, traditional foods and crafts. There, Tiina and Shaney were born.
Anna moved with her children to Montreal in 1969 after the marriage dissolved. We have deep appreciation for how hard Anna worked as a single mother to us and as a housecleaner for families in Westmount.
In her many years of retirement, Anna enjoyed her pastimes, family visits, the companionship of her dogs, as well as trips back to Finland and to Hannah Lake in Ontario.
Anna was an accomplished, prolific knitter throughout her life. She provided wool gloves, hats, sweaters and more for her family and community well into her 90s. She knit tiny hats for sick newborns at the Royal Victoria Hospital. As well, she was skilled at crocheting and sewing. Anna also had a green thumb, a love of animals and was a great cook and baker. Fish soup, pulla and piimäkakku were family favourites.
Anna was a member of St Michael's Finnish Lutheran Church all her life in Canada, it was where she found community, and her roles in social events, cooking, serving and making crafts meant a lot to her.
Anna is survived by her children, Pirjo (Anthony Peirce, Neal Shinder), David (Jannine Marcelet), Tiina and Shaney; grandson James Peirce (Harriet Loptson); great granddaughters Charlotte and Ivy; and many nieces and nephews in Finland.
A memorial service with be held June 2nd at 2pm at St. Michael's Finnish Lutheran Church 4345 Marcil ave, NDG, Montreal H4A 2Z9
If anyone would like to join the family on June 3, 2pm, we will be at Mount Royal Cemetery Funeral Complex for the inurnment.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory to St. Michael's Finnish Church or the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation would be appreciated.