View Full Version : Mary Aune Koski (Jouppila) 1927-2016

26-03-16, 10:49
Mary Aune Koski, longtime resident and a civic leader of Aberdeen, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. She was 88 years old. Mrs. Koski was born with the name Aune Maija in Vahakyro township, Finland, on May 9, 1927, to Aino and Toivo Jouppila. The Jouppilas owned a small dairy farm in rural Finland. Serious responsibilities came early to Maija, as she was the eldest of three children in a household that held infirm grandparents and younger children from distant relatives, as well as war refugees at times. At the age of 12 she was placed in charge of pasturing the family’s dairy cows when her father went to war. At 15-16 she was called to duty as a “Pikku Lotta,” a member of the military’s auxiliary air patrol. Her mission, armed with binoculars and a radio, was to report Russian bomber incursions into the area. She was awarded Finnish war medals for her service. At the age of 17 she went to work for the county’s dairy plant, and at 18 was promoted to manager in charge of the dairy’s distribution of free food to the poor. Around this time she met her future husband and life partner Ollie Koskinen. They wed on June 24, 1949. Little more than a year later, equipped with two suitcases and $150 smuggled in a toothpaste tube, they set off for New York and continued on to Aberdeen by bus. They chose Aberdeen because Ollie had an aunt living there who sponsored their immigration.

Almost immediately after arrival Mary (she changed her name at immigration) worked as a nanny for a prominent Aberdeen family until her own children came along. In the early 1970s Mary took accounting classes at Grays Harbor College to earn a certification and joined Ollie as the bookkeeper at both A&B Machine Shop and later, Harbor Hydraulics.

During her years in Aberdeen she held numerous positions in the U.F.K.B. & S. Finn Lodge #9, including being a founding member of the “Kaleva Girls” and leading countless drives to raise money for lodge scholarships. She was a primary auditor of the Finn Grand Lodge for decades. She also held the position of Worthy Matron in Eastern Star, and was a member of Crescent Orthopedic, an organization dedicated to raising funds for Shriner hospitals. She was a member of Zonta International, a ceramics club, the Olympians Hiking Club, and of a local ski club that during the winter made weekly trips each Wednesday to Crystal Mountain. Mary first tried downhill skiing around 1977, and wowed everyone by skipping beginner status from the start. She had won countywide cross country ski competitions in her teens, and slalom water skied the first day she tried it on Lost Lake, so transitioning to alpine skiing was a breeze. She and Ollie in their 60s and 70s skied in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and other distant locales. Non-ski travels took them to the Panama Canal, Alaska, Hawaii, California, and of course Finland. She had to wait 7 years before making her first trip home to see her family, but starting in the 60s the frequency ramped up to where she made at least 23 trips back to her homeland. She made her last trip to the old country in 2013. She was a member of Amazing Grace Church in Aberdeen, later joining St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Lacey.

After Ollie’s death Mary moved to Olympics West in Tumwater where she actively participated in many extracurricular activities and made many new friends. For Mary, however, family always came first, and this remained true to the very end.

Mary is preceded in death by her husband Ollie Reino Koski in 2008. She is survived by a sister, Liisa Paakkonen of Tervajoki, Finland; three children, Ann Smith, Olympia, Paul Koski, Aberdeen and Mark Koski, Seattle; six grandchildren, Jessica Jurasin, Erica Luzzi, Andy Smith, Kristopher Koski, Helen Koski and Bill Koski; and two great-grandchildren, Nolan and Ben Jurasin.

A private burial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 30. A Life Celebration will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Rotary Log Pavilion in Aberdeen.

The family suggests memorials may be made to the U.F.K.B.&S. Lodge #9 Scholarship Fund, PO Box 546, Montesano, WA, 98563.

A care of condolence with a memory or a message may be sent to the family at www.fernhillfuneral.com

Arrangements are entrusted to Twibell’s Fern Hill Funeral Home, 2208 Roosevelt St., Aberdeen.

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