View Full Version : JEANNETTE (AHOLA) PYLKKI 11 February, 1926 - 3 August, 2011

14-08-11, 09:38
February 11, 1926 - August 3, 2011

Jeannette Pylkki was 85 when she passed away August 3, 2011, in Vancouver, WA. She was born in the long-lost logging town of Valsetz, OR. She grew up on the family farm in Hockinson, WA, where her Finnish grandparents and a multitude of Finns had settled. The door was always open to share coffee and kahvileipä and Saturday night sauna.

During her World War II high school years, she scanned the skies from the plane-spotting tower on their hilltop farm and worked nights at the Vancouver Shipyards offices.

Valedictorian of the Battle Ground High School Class of '44, Jeannette attended the University of Washington, leaving for the adventures of a job in Los Angeles, where she was part of the crowds celebrating in the streets during VJ Day (and Shirley Temple's wedding a month later) in 1945.

Back to Washington, Jeannette worked in banks in Seattle and Battle Ground before, and shortly after, marriage.

One night, a dashing, dark-haired Finn from Highbridge, WI saw her "across a crowded room" at Hockinson's United Finnish Kaleva Brothers & Sisters Hall dance. He drove an equally dashing yellow convertible. After their engagement, it was quickly traded in for a serious-minded blue sedan. Despite this disappointment, they married in May 1950 and traveled 50 years down life's highway, adding three children as passengers.

Their route took them to homes in Battle Ground, WA, Tillamook, OR and Olympia, WA, where the Finn from Wisconsin churned out his zest for Cheddar cheese as assistant manager and manager of cheese factories in all three locations.

Jeannette's passion for her Finnish roots in later years involved trips to Finland, one by herself for two months in 2001, two summer sessions at the Salolampi Finnish Language Village near Bemidji, MN, and membership in the Olympia Finnish Heritage Group.

As a life-long learner, she loved reading about and discussing social and world issues with family and friends. If she had it to do over again, she would have been a psychologist.

Jeannette was also a life-long lover of murder mysteries. After a 2004 trip to Arizona, Utah and the Navajo Nation, Tony Hillerman's Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn crime novels were well-read favorites.

An isolated cabin by a lake in British Columbia was a special get-away for many summers, with tales of being run over (almost) by a moose coming out of the lake and the mesmerizing call of loons. This call of the wild led them up the AlCan Highway to Alaska, resulting in a fascination with grizzly bears.

One of her crime novels came to life when she and the Finn from Wisconsin had stopped at a British Columbia campground. Two knife wielding prison escapees tied them up in their travel trailer, then stole their pickup. Luckily, this story has a happy ending. The Mounties really do get their man. The convicts were captured and brought to trial.

Survivors include daughter, Roxanne Dimyan (Ridgefield, WA); son and daughter-in-law, Russell Pylkki and Kathy Combs (St. Paul, MN); granddaughter, Krista Pylkki; son-in-law, Larry Ihlang (Rainier, WA); granddaughter, Beth Dungan; great-grandchildren, Mathew and Payton Dungan; a sister, Dorothy Jordan (Dallas, OR); and brothers, Robert Ahola (Seattle, WA) and Larry Ahola (Hockinson, WA).

Jeannette was preceded in death by her husband, Gunnard Pylkki; and daughter, Wendy Ihlang.

"Kiitos ja hyv yt."

The viewing will be from 10 a.m. to 1p.m., on Thursday, August 11, at Mills & Mills Funeral Home, 5725 Littlerock Rd. SW, Tumwater, WA. The funeral service will follow the viewing at 1p.m. and conclude with the graveside service at 2p.m. All will be invited to the reception at Mills & Mills Funeral Home following the services.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to The Cloud Foundation, www.thecloudfoundation.org, dedicated to the preservation of wild horses on public lands, and Food for the Poor, www.foodforthepoor.org.

Please view/sign Jeannette's guestbook at: www.millsandmillsfuneralhome.com or www.columbian.com/obits.

Published in The Columbian on August 7, 2011

14-08-11, 09:40
Some nice photographs, while they're up: http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Jeannette-Pylkki&lc=7560&pid=152866820&mid=4766459&Affiliate=columbian&PersonID=152866820&FHID=2237