Armas Niskanen

Veteran, 93

Armas Niskanen, 93, of Astoria, died Sunday, June 2, 2002, in Astoria.

Mr. Niskanen was born March 30, 1909, in Kemi, Finland, to Sullinan and Marie Niskanen. On May 10, 1910, he arrived at Ellis Island with his family and traveled by train to Astoria to live with an aunt.

He attended Taylor School before graduating from Astoria High School. He worked in canneries during his high school summer months.

In 1947, he married Muriel Wirkkala Kaino and adopted her daughter Susan. Muriel died in 1969.

Mr. Niskanen married Thelma Walthers in April 1971. She died in April 1998.

He worked at Union Oil, Safeway, Pillsbury Flour Mills and the Finnish Meat Market before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1942. After boot camp, he was selected to attend Diesel School at the University of Missouri. Following school, his duties included working on tugboats towing targets during World War II. After discharge, he returned to Astoria and worked at Tongue Point and Astoria Oil Company before setting up his own oil business. He later joined Ed Niemi Oil before retirement. During this time, he helped build the Zion Lutheran Church, where he served on the church board and as an usher.

He was a member of the Elks, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. He served as post commander of the VFW and was appointed as the national aide-de-camp in 1948. His family says he had a high bowling average and served on the committee for his class reunions.

He is survived by three daughters and two sons-in-law, Susan Niskanen Cardoza of Atwater, Calif., Marlyss and Buck Mehl of Kelso, Wash., and Connie and Jim Good of Mission Viejo, Calif.; three sons and one daughter-in-law, David Edward Niskanen of Modesto, Calif., and Robert E. Walther, Jr. of Salem, and Ron and Pam Walther of Warrenton; 17 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Viewing is 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday at Caldwell's Luce-Layton Mortuary, and 11 a.m. to noon Friday at Peace Lutheran Church. Funeral is noon Friday at Peace Lutheran Church, with a reception following in the fellowship hall. Graveside service is 2:30 p.m. Friday at Greenwood Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Lower Columbia Hospice, 2111 Exchange Street, Astoria, OR 97103.

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