Community leader, business woman and beloved mother and grandmother Lena Louise Angela Kaartinen (nee Huntley) passed away suddenly on November 11, 2021. Lena was 73 years old and passed away at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre surrounded by family.

Lena was born on December 24, 1947, in Emo, Ontario. Her family relocated to Atikokan in 1952 so her father, Frank, could work at Steep Rock Iron Mines. Lena attended St. Patrick’s Separate School and then Atikokan High School. Lena is best known for the many years she served as a town Councillor for the Town of Atikokan and as the business owner of LLK Bookkeeping and co-owner of Mel’s Husky, a business she ran with her husband of 50 years, Melvin Kaartinen.

Lena was an avid reader, knitter, bingo lover, golfer, curler and she loved baking bread, buns and cinnamon rolls. Lena was actively involved in Atikokan through being a Girl Guide and Brownie leader, an executive member of the Atikokan Figure Skating Club, a certified figure skating judge, and a Catholic Women’s League member. Lena loved traveling and visited Egypt, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Saint Maarten, South Africa, and many U.S. destinations including Disneyland and Las Vegas. In her later years, Lena enjoyed spending time at the Pioneer Centre with her friends. However, Lena’s greatest joy was her children and grandchildren. They will miss her unconditional love and support.

Lena is survived by her daughters Pamela (Trent Mann, Jasper, Tucker and Badger), Melanie (Pierre Mallinson, Abigail, Jayden) and Marianne (Sean Berry); her mother Stella Ann Huntley; the father of her children Melvin Kaartinen; and her siblings Barbara (Jim Beckingham, Laura McLeod), Marion (Garth Dyck, Allen, Taylor), Michael (Valerie, Kerri-Lynn, Ryan) and Duane. Lena had numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. Lena was predeceased by her father Frank Huntley; and her niece Crystal McLeod; and her grandmother Mary Ann Gouliquer.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” ECCLESIASTES 3:1-4

A Celebration of Life Service for Lena was held on Monday, November 15, 2021, at the Atikokan Legion Hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Canadian Heart and Stroke foundation.