Reino Antero Vedenoja was born on April 15, 1935 in Kalajoki, Finland, and was called home to heaven on Aug. 23, 2018, at his home in Astoria, Oregon.
A proud Finn, Reino was born in a small town much like his future home on the Oregon Coast. Kalajoki was a small seaside community that was blessed with abundant fishing, farming and forest resources. Reino grew up on a farm, the youngest child in a large family.
Reino met the love of his life, Raili, in Kalajoki, and they were married on Aug. 29, 1954. Soon after their wedding, Reino was summoned to serve in the Finnish Army, where his enterprising spirit led him to become a self-taught barber to earn extra money to support his young family.
After the Army, Reino worked as an entrepreneur and trucker, mill worker, construction worker and metal fabricator - the one thread that ran through his storied working life was his incredible work ethic and pride in what he did. In 1971, Reino and Raili and their seven children immigrated to Astoria, Oregon. With the support of Raili's brother, Antti, wife Eila, and the Rahkola family, Reino and family planted new roots and found their place in a community that reminded them very much of where they grew up.
After the tragic loss of their beloved daughter Maija, in 1982, Reino found redemption and peace through Jesus Christ. He became a leader and elder in the Finnish Free Evangelical Church, and was known in the U.S., Canada, and Finland for his powerful personal testimony of faith and his rich baritone voice. In their home, Reino and Raili hosted church services and prayer meetings, as well as pastors, Missionaries, evangelists, singers and even an Olympic athlete sharing his path to Christ.
In retirement, Reino found great joy in fishing the Columbia River, traveling, watching his family grow and blossom, and tinkering around the house and yard. He was incredibly proud of his family and always had a good story to share with anyone who would listen.
After a long and full life, his final days were spent exactly as he had wanted, cared for and surrounded by his wife and large, loving family.
Reino is survived by his wife Raili; children, Marju (Vaughn) Jaakola, Lasse (Melissa) Vedenoja, Arja (Jeff) Shepard, Eeva Gray, Sari (Dean) Hartman, of Astoria, Oregon, and Eija (Risto) Liias, of Everett, Washington; grandchildren, Petri, Sanna (Jason), Kai (Nicki), Kimmo (Jennifer), Kirsti, Marko, Katri (Mike), AJ, Jason, Lisa (Neil), Timo (Hayden), Mika, Markus and Maija (Wyatt); great-grandchildren, Mikko, Raija, Marissa, Taylor, Gavin, Vivianna, Leo, Ciara, Josh, Grayden, Emelia, Landin and Brayden; sister, Elli Rasmus, of Alavieska, Finland and many, many other loved ones from Oregon to Finland.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Paul Voeller the neuro-intensive care unit team at Oregon Health & Sciences University, Lower Columbia Hospice and Columbia Memorial Hospital for the care provided to Reino.
There will be a private graveside service followed by a celebration of Reino's life at his home on Erie Avenue on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 3:00 PM; friends and loved ones are warmly welcome to join this celebration. In lieu of flowers the family requests that you support the Astoria Rescue Mission or charity of your choice in Reino's loving memory.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." 2 Timothy 4: 7-8
Hughes-Ransom Mortuary Astoria
576 12th St
Astoria, OR 97103