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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Helen Kasari Fairport Harbor 2007

5th Finglish trip July 2007 #24

Coming from Ylistaro and Peräseinäjoki, uncles and cousins first made their way to America followed by Helen Kasari’s grandfather. Her maternal uncle went ahead of the others to Ishpeming, Michigan. Helen’s grandfather Jacob Nurmilaakso came to Michigan as a logger, with the plan of sending his family money for the passage to America.

90-year-old Helen Kasari is a former teacher. She began her career in 1939 and retired in 1972. In her own words, she has taught hundreds of Finnish children. The residents of Fairport Harbor were mostly Slovaks, Hungarians and Finns. Because the schools are English-speaking, the Finnish language is dying out. Helen Kasari, however, has maintained the Finnish skills of the children by teaching in Sunday school.

Her home is full of reference literature, because she is a crossword enthusiast. She is also a walking encyclopaedia on Finnish immigrants in Ohio.

Next Helmi Luoma Ashtabula Ohio USA

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