Arvie Emil Soderholm, 89, passed away peacefully at his residence at Rainycrest Home for the Aged in Fort Frances, Ont. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2006.
Arvie was born on the homestead farm in Finland, Ont. on Feb. 12, 1916 to the late Bernhard (Pete) and Amanda Soderholm.
From an early age, he enjoyed woodworking projects—a hobby that he continued throughout his lifetime. His love for music also was evident in his mastering of playing the five row button accordion, the mandolin, violin, and piano, which were all self-taught.
In his early years, he established Arvie Soderholm Logging Co. and hauled pulpwood to the mill in Fort Frances.
He served in the army during WW Two and was stationed in Nova Scotia. Upon return, he managed the Co-op store in Finland for a while before moving to Fort Frances, where he was employed as a guard at the jail.
He joined the Fort Frances Fire Department in 1946, where he began his lifetime career of a fireman. He loved his job and, in 1957, was promoted to fire chief—a position which he proudly held until his retirement in 1976.
Shortly after moving to Fort Frances, he married Edith on April 22, 1947. They enjoyed 58 years of companionship until her passing on Oct. 17, 2005.
He enjoyed the outdoors, and loved to garden and tend to his flower beds, which always were well-groomed.
Also, he enjoyed cross-country skiing, fishing, camping with their travel trailer, and always a challenging game of cards with Jack and Evelyn. He was referred to as a champion “putterer,” as he always was doing something around their home where they lived for 58 years.
Arvie was devoted to his wife and family, and his greatest joy was sharing special times with them. He was a very gentle and caring person who always put others before himself.
He was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church, and a past member of the Rotary Club and the Oddfellows.
Arvie was predeceased by his wife, Edith; brother, Uno Soderholm; and sister, Elma Showalter.
Arvie is survived by one sister, Impi Estabrook of Riverview, Fla.; two daughters, Loretta (Lawrence) Allan of Fort Frances, Ont. and Elaine (Albert) Kast of Sioux Narrows, Ont.; and one son, Alvin (Margo) Haner of Winnipeg, Man.
He also is survived by nine grandchildren, Darryl (Marie) Allan of Fort Frances, Ont., Cheryl (Gordon) McLellan of Florida, Lisa (Randy) Morden of Atikokan, Ont., Susan Allan of Fort Frances, Ont., Scott Kast of Sioux Narrows, Ont., Kathy (Murray) Stardom of Winnipeg, Man., Kevin Kast of Sioux Narrows, Ont., Wayne (Shelley) Haner of Winnipeg, Man., and Nancy (Joe) Lance of St. Catharines, Ont.; and seven great-grandchildren.
Also surviving are numerous nieces (including a special niece and helper, Eleanor Barron of Barwick, Ont.), nephews, and other relatives in Canada, the U.S., and Finland.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 at 1:30 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Frances, with Pastor Brian Keffer officiating.
Interment will take place in Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances at a later date.
The honourary pallbearers will be members of Fort Frances Fire Department.
In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, P.O. Box 444, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8, the Alzheimer’s Society, 180 Park Ave., Suite 310, Thunder Bay, Ont., P7B 6J4, or the Memorial Fund at the Zion Lutheran Church, 1105 Scott St., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 1J7 or c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.