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immortalmorpheu
05-01-20, 21:43
Henry Ingmar Kalfholm, 89, passed away May 3, 2017, in Astoria. He was born Oct. 19, 1927, in Vasa, the Swedish-Finn region on the west coast of Finland. He was the son of Signe (Almquist) and Edward Kalfholm.
While still living in Finland, Henry become an American citizen under the Nationality Act of 1940, which awarded citizenship to children born overseas to at least one American parent. His father, who had repeatedly traveled between the U.S. and Finland as a merchant marine and ship’s carpenter, had become a naturalized American citizen in 1923, and had listed Astoria as his residence because relatives lived here.
At the close of World War II, the U.S. Embassy warned that life in Finland would become very difficult for Americans under Russian domination. So, in 1946, Henry Kalfholm arrived at Ellis Island aboard the SS Gripsholm. The ship’s log listed him as a licensed electrical engineer, and gave his destination as 249 Ninth St., Astoria, the home that his father had established for the family. His mother and sister followed soon after.
Henry was a volunteer firefighter in Seaside and then, in 1952, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, where he built and maintained electrical systems for B-36 heavy bombers for the Strategic Air Command. While there, he advanced his knowledge of electrical engineering at Pullman College (now Washington State University).
When he left the Air Force in 1956, Henry returned to Astoria, remaining in the Air Force Reserves for the next five years. He quickly became well-known, not only as an excellent electrician, but also as a master carpenter and a licensed contractor, building and renovating many of the most beautiful homes and other buildings in the area. He was admired for his meticulous attention to detail and sense of design.
Henry was a student of fine art and classical music, and was a patron of the Portland Art Museum and a longtime supporter of the Smithsonian Institution.
Memorial donations can be sent to the First Lutheran Church of Astoria; the Portland Art Museum, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205; or a charity of your choice.
Henry has been buried in the Kalfholm family plot in Ocean View Cemetery in Warrenton.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 18, at the First Lutheran Church at 33rd Street and Grand Avenue in Astoria.