Dec. 11, 1920 — Aug. 8, 2019

John Elmer Piukkula passed away early Thursday, Aug. 8, having spent his final day surrounded by family, including each grandchild and both great-grandchildren.

John was born in Astoria, to Finnish parents John and Maria Piukkula, on Dec. 11, 1920. He absolutely loved the town of Astoria, and quite possibly was one of the last “Uniontown Finns.”

John was incredibly proud of being a Uniontown Finn, holding close ties to the Finnish community. He frequently spoke of wishing to return to Astoria, but remained in the Beaverton area to be near his family.

John, who was best known in Astoria by his middle name, Elmer, married Meeri Paulina Tarkiainen on Sept. 5, 1953, in Astoria. After 51 years of marriage, Meeri unexpectedly passed in January 2005. It brings the family great solace knowing the two are together, forevermore.

John received his schooling in Astoria, and served in the Coast Guard.

Among his accomplishments, John held an over 40-year career working for U.S. National Bank in Astoria and Warrenton. He thoroughly enjoyed working with finances, also holding the position of financial secretary for the Finnish Brotherhood (UFKB&S) for a significant span of time. When he relinquished the position, he was only the second person who had held it since the inception of UFKB&S in Astoria.

John had also been a member of the American Legion, American Cancer Society and Peace Lutheran Church. John’s daughters believe he felt his finest achievement was his involvement in the conception of Clatsop Care and Rehabilitation Center, and being elected to the founding board of the center.

John was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather, who made it clear that his family was of utmost importance. In the late 1980s, after leaving his 2-year-old grandson, Kyle, at his day care, and seeing Kyle cry as he left, John told his daughter, Lisa, “never again.”

He meant it. John volunteered to commute between Astoria and Beaverton to care for Kyle. The two enjoyed days of solving puzzles and having lunches together. After Meeri retired, they relocated to Beaverton, continuing to care for all the grandchildren, and building more precious memories.

It would be remiss to not include another of John’s greatest loves in this message. One of John’s constant companions while living in Astoria was his beautiful collie, Keegan. To see them together was to know the bond they shared was extraordinary.

John is survived by his daughters, Pauline Aursland and Lisa Hibbert (Mark), of Beaverton; grandchildren, Kyle Hibbert (Ashley), of Hillsboro, Lindsey Sullivan (Aaron), of Beaverton, Anja Aursland Meeuwsen (Jaron), of Newberg, and Erika Maija Hibbert, of Portland; great-grandson, Axel Meeuwsen, and great-granddaughter, Ella Meeri Meeuwsen.

John is also survived by his brother-in-law, Reino Tarkiainen (Marilyn), of Sherwood; cousin, Sirkka Kalevala (Eero), of Finland; and numerous nephews and nieces in Oregon and Finland.

A graveside service will be held for John on Thursday, Aug. 15, at 2 p.m., at Ocean View Cemetery in Warrenton.

Memorial gifts may be made to Clatsop Care and Rehabilitation Center, in care of Caldwell’s Luce-Layton Mortuary, which is in charge of the arrangements. Please sign their online guest book at www.caldwellsmortuary.com

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Debbie Greene

There is nothing harder than saying goodbye to a loved one. May your family be surrounded by love, held up by warm memories of times together, and comforted in the knowledge that Isa is at home again with Meeri in his beloved Astoria.

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