Matti E. Varila, 90, of Naselle, Wash., died Wednesday, May 3, 2006 in Astoria.

He was born April 16, 1916 in Kaustinen Finland, one of 11 children of Anselmi and Kristiina Varila. He received his education in Kaustinen and was a veteran of the Finnish Army, serving during two wars with a cavalry unit.

Mr. Varila married Ansa Kerminen June 24, 1945 in Kaustinen. She died in 2000.

In May of 1963, the couple and their five children immigrated to Naselle. Mr. Varila worked as a log truck driver for Weyerhaeuser Company for 20 years, retiring in 1984.

Mr. Varila enjoyed playing violin, singing and woodworking. He made many burl clocks and gave them as gifts to family and friends here and in Finland. Family members said he was proud of his Finnish heritage and enjoyed his family, grandchildren and many friends.

He is survived by four daughters and three sons-in-law, Maija Ross of Naselle, Sirkka and Russell Wirkkala of Naselle, Kata and Dan Bohren of Naselle and Leena and Bruce Wirkkala of Milwaukie; a son, Jaakko Varila of Salinas, Calif.; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one sister, Ester Fagerlund of Hanko Finland; and numerous nieces and nephews residing in the United States and Finland.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his siblings.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Naselle Lutheran Church.

A funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the church. A graveside service will follow at Peaceful Hill Cemetery in Naselle. A reception will be held at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to the local hospice of one's choice, in care of Penttila's Chapel by The Sea, P.O. Box 417, Long Beach, WA 98631.

A guest book may be signed online at


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