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Gunnar Damström
14-04-11, 06:09
Paul Björklund passed away March 23 2011 at his retirement home on Mercer Island, Washington. Paul was born on 10th of September 1916 and was in his 95th year when he passed. He is survived by his wife Beatrice, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, siblings and friends.
Paul Björklund’s roots are in Jeussen, Kronoby. He was the son of Viktor Björklund who emigrated to America in 1910. Three years later Viktor’s wife to be Anna Portin emigrated to the big country in the west. Both settled in Michigan where they met and where they married. They had five children: Karin, b 1914; Paul, b 1916; Roy, b 1917; Milton, b 1922; and Ronald, b 1936. Karin passed in January this year.
Paul Björklund studied theology with the Church Mission Society and for 40 years worked as evangelical covenant pastor in many congregations. Since his retirement in 1984 he has been a resident of Seattle, Washington. When the Order of Runeberg Choir and folk dancers performed at an event in Seattle in July 2008, Paul Björklund was seated in the first row.
He thrived meeting his cousin Margareta Fredriksson (nee Björklund) who sung in the choir and her husband Max. It was obvious he was enjoying the song, the music and the folk dance. I had the privilege of meeting Paul Björklund during the event and at the retirement center on Mercer Island. He was an alert elderly who told that Bill Gates lives on the other side of the bay. “We are kind of neighbors”, he said with a wink.
Paul told he had earlier been training at mini golf, however nowadays he is limited to the gym. He vigorously mounted one of the exercise devices, placed his feet in the foot rests and declared that the resistance strengthens the leg muscles. Such a strong 92-year old!
Although Paul was not born in Kronoby his thoughts often went to the native country of his forefathers. He visited Kronoby 6-7 times and relatives have visited the couple staying in their hospitable home. His last visit was in 1998. Since that time he has maintained contact through mail, telephone or e-mail. Last year he had a stroke which affected his speech and mobility. Since then contacts have been maintained with the aid of his fiend Norman Westerberg and Paul’s daughter Carol. A person closely bound to family and with a positive attitude who held his parents mother tongue Swedish in high esteem has passed.
Peace on his memory!
Ole Granholm
(tranlation: Gunnar)