Marja Leena Viikinsalo, 82, passed away on Tuesday November 8, 2022 at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely, MN after a long battle with dementia.
Marja was an excellent artist and loved to wear her red hat and push her cat in a stroller through the grocery stores in town. She was a member of the Ladies of Kaleva and the Ely United Methodist Church.
Marja was born to Otto and Maire Koskela in Rauma, Finland on August 12, 1940. Marja met her future husband Seppo Viikinsalo while he was visiting his relatives in Finland in 1961, and he convinced her to come to Hartford, CT so they could get married in 1962.
After having two children and a couple of family moves, they settled back near Seppo’s parents on the Iron Range first in Aurora, then Eveleth MN. Marja worked in various retail positions in Virginia and owned and operated Marja’s Books in Virginia MN in the 1980s. Marja then moved with her husband to the Twin Cities and eventually retired to Ely.
In addition to her parents, Marja was preceded in death by her husband Seppo and youngest son John. Marja is survived by her son James (Kellie) Viikinsalo of Trussville, AL; sister Ritva Koskela of Rauma, Finland; brother Mikko (Riita) Koskela of Rauma, Finland and Fuengirola, Spain; grandchildren Amanda Viikinsalo of Homewood, AL; Nicholas (Samantha) Viikinsalo of Anoka, MN; Emily Viikinsalo of Fresno, CA; Alex Oman of White Bear Lake, MN; Maya Viikinsalo of Trussville, AL; nephew Otto Koskela of Barcelona, Spain; great-grandson Landry Macedo Jr. of Fresno, CA; and other dear family and friends.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Boundary Waters Care Center and Carefree Living for the amazing love and compassion they provided in caring for her during her golden years in Ely.
A memorial service will be held at Kerntz Funeral Home in Ely, MN on Wednesday November 16 at 11 a.m., Pastor Craig Haberman officiating. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.