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Norm & Benita Westerberg Mercer Island 2007

6th Finglish trip December 2007 #10

Eric Norman Westerberg (1929-2014) was born in Detroit, MI to Swedish speaking Finns who returned to Finland when he was one year old. He went to school in Turku and served in the Finnish Military as a teenage volunteer during WWII. In 1950 he married his hometown sweetheart Benita Eklund. In 1953, the two moved to the USA after learning that Norm had dual citizenship by birth. Norm was drafted into the US Army in June 1954.

After basic training he was sent to Germany while Benita stayed behind in Gardner, MA. In latter 1955, Benita and newborn son Dan joined Norm in Germany. A year later the family moved to Cleveland, OH. In 1956, they returned to Finland where Norm was employed by EKONO Consulting Engineers - a relation that would last for close to thirty years. After the birth of their daughter Chris in Helsinki, the family was sent to Oak Ridge, TN where Norm participated in a one year international course in nuclear power safety; son Ken was also born here. During the years 1967-69, the family moved to Bellevue while Norm commuted to Seattle while starting up an EKONO subsidiary of EKONO Inc, providing energy saving and pollution control technology to the US forest products industry. The next ten years, back in Finland, Norm worked as a representative of EKONO. In September 1979 Norm returned to the Northwest to serve as President of EKONO Inc which was now located in Bellevue. The family soon followed and it became clear that this was the last move. Norm became heavily involved in local Finnish and Nordic activities. He joined both the Finnish Lutheran Church and the Finnish Choral Society in Seattle, serving terms as President with both. He funded the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce in the Northwest in 1981, and was a cofounder of the Swedish Finn Historical Society in 1991. He served as Vice President of the Swedish Club, President of the Advisory Board of the UW Scandinavian Department, and was a long time Trustee of the Nordic Heritage Museum. In 1985 Norm was appointed Honorary Consul of Finland for Washington State, serving as such for sixteen years. He served as Chairman for FinnFest USA "89 held on the UW campus, and served ten years on the FinnFest USA national board. During the period 1998-2007 he served as Vice Speaker of the Finnish Expatriate Parliament, representing Finnish immigrants and their descendants in the USA and Latin American.

Next Paul & Beatrice Bjorklund Mercer Island Washington USA

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