Kaarina Yrjana

Yrjana , Kaarina

Aug 10, 1937 – May 22, 2006


Kaarina went to be with her Heavenly Father, after a brief illness on May 22nd, 2006 with her family at her side.

She is lovingly remembered by her loving husband of 48 years Leo; her daughter Katja (Norm); her son Jussi (Colleen); grandchildren: Oliver, Astrid, Avalon, Nick and Kelsey; sister Inga (Raimo); and niece Maj-britt Martella; and brother Erik Kotka from Nanaimo; and sister Maija Kotka in Finland. She also had a huge extended family that she loved and that loved her, Danielle, (Chris) Rachel and Ryland, Chris, Claire, and Carly, Ken, Sarah, Emily and Brynn, Stephen, Donnita, Annalise and Alexander, Lou and Lu, Kelsea and Victoria.

Kaarina’s life was rich in family and friends. She was born in Sieva, Finland, August 10th, 1937. She worked as a hair dresser, in housekeeping and prior to her retirement at the Campbell River Hospital. The family immigrated to Thunder Bay from Finland in 1967, then later moved west to Kitimat, south to Campbell River and then onto the farm in Merville. Kaarina loved flowers and even while living with Parkinson’s she managed each year to plant and tend a yard full of planters. She enjoyed raising chickens, gathering eggs and giving away eggs to her many visitors. Kaarina’s love for flowers and chickens was under shadowed by the pride and happiness that came from her grandchildren. She had biological grandchildren, grandchildren by marriage, grandchildren that adopted her, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren that she adopted. She had no limitations in her love and acceptance for them. Many times she sided with the children when their parents said no. She was the epitome of when someone said no, “Ask Grandma!”. Her faith in God carried her through many trying times and she taught everyone around her the true meaning of grace. Her life as a child was short and she had to grow up quickly in the 1940’s but she never complained and instead enriched her children’s lives with adventures and allowed them time to just be a kid. She helped build forts, gather shells and continued her zest for life with the grandkids. She was never too busy to pick berries, look for frogs, play apple baseball, head to the river for a dip, or play in the hay barn. Her life is one to be celebrated, she lived it to the fullest and ate a lot of chocolate along the way!

The family would like to express their thanks to Dr. Doug Anderson, Eleanor, Debbie, Kelly and the third floor nursing staff for the excellent care Kaarina received.

A Celebration of Life was held Thursday, May 25th, 2006 at the Courtenay Foursquare Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Parkinson’s Research or the Parkinson’s Society of British Columbia.