MANTYLA, Aili Elina (nee Laitinen)

With great sorrow we announce the passing of Aili on Friday, February 9, 2024.

Beloved wife of late Sauli, loving mother of late Allan (Joanne Lamoureux) and Shirley (Jerry Kroetsch). Her grandchildren Nikko (Thadsha Chandrakumaran) and Johanna were her greatest joy.

Born in Finland to Ada and Jalmari, was the second youngest sibling to Marjatta, Aaro, Aino, Katri and youngest sister Kaija, all predeceased in Finland. Leaving behind nephews and niece all in Finland.

Aili was an adventurous spirit, meeting her husband in Tampere and together they immigrated to Sudbury. Their beginnings were humble. Aili worked as a maid, and a cleaning lady before going to Cambrian College for business school upgrading to become the owner of House of Finland gift store.

When the new Canadian Flag was marched down Elm and Durham streets on February 15, 1965, Aili a newly minted Canadian citizen, squeezed Shirley’s little hand so hard and impressed upon her how important this event was that Shirley still remembers that event even though being a preschooler.

Aili was a proud Canadian celebrating her birthday on Canada Day, but she was very proud of her Finnish heritage. She was a life member of the Finnish Canadian Historical Society and founding member of Sudbury’s Finnish Language School. She put in many volunteer hours within the Finnish community. Later in life, responding to an opinion article of a Finnish person writing about their negative experience in Canada in the Finnish Canadian newspaper, Aili’s response was such that the paper asked her to become a correspondent. She went on to write many articles and interviewed many Finnish people and wrote about their lives and events. One great piece was working with City of Sudbury and others, re-establishing the forgotten and neglected Finnish cemetery off of Long Lake Rd.

Aili loved nature and her summer camps on Manitoulin Island and Beaver Lake. She enjoyed many friends and welcomed everyone to her home, the coffee pot was always on. With significant health issues over the years, she enjoyed living at Finlandia Village. Further decline, Aili moved to the Ontario Finnish Resthome in Sault Ste. Marie being close to her daughter. She was ever so grateful to the caring staff at both Finnish seniors’ homes. Slowing down she had abundance of photo albums to reminisce the many places she travelled to over the years and re-read her yearly journals she kept.

We will miss you äiti – mummo but you will be forever in our hearts.

A graveside service will be held at Parklawn Cemetery (379 Horobin St, Sudbury, Ontario) on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 12 noon. A celebration of life will follow at Finlandia Village, Voima Hall, Block F from 2 pm to 4 pm (233 4th Ave, Sudbury, Ontario). A celebration of life will also take place at a later date in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Memorial contributions (payable by cheque or online) to Finlandia Village SISU Foundation, Ontario Finnish Resthome Association or a charity of your choice appreciated. Arrangements entrusted to Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington St. East; 705-759-2522). Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *