Stanley Wilfred Aho
Lifetime Alaskan Stanley Wilfred Aho died on Christmas morning, Dec. 25, 2007, at his home on Funny River Road in Soldotna. He was 86.
A wake in his memory will be held at his home on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007. Family and friends are welcome to attend from 2 to 6 p.m. For more information, call Vivian at (907) 260-5318. Mr. Aho's ashes will be spread over his trapping and honeymoon cabin near Canyon Lake.
Mr. Aho was born Dec. 5, 1921, in Anchorage, to John Aho and Ellen Lehto. His parents came from Finland to Alaska and were a pioneer family in early Anchorage. Throughout his life he worked as a trapper, pilot, prospector, carpenter, commercial fisherman, and finally as a heavy equipment operator for Green Construction, the city of Anchorage, and Anchorage Sand and Gravel where he contributed to the construction of the first highways in Alaska.
During World War II, Stanley served from 1942 to 1945 in the U.S. Army. He was stationed on rescue boats, which he transferred from California to Attu and Amchitka Island along the Aleutian Chain.
After his brother Toivo died in an airplane crash in 1949, Stanley abandoned his flying career. In 1954, he married Vivian Vandelac in Anchorage and they spent the winters living in the trapping cabin and summers prospecting for gold at Aho Lake. In the late 1950s they abandoned the cabins across Cook Inlet and settled with their children Doris and Thomas in Anchorage. Their third child, Ronald, was born in 1961. After the 1964 earthquake, Stanley built the first of three family log houses in the upper Rabbit Creek area where they stayed until his retirement from Local 302 of the Operating Engineers in 1975. Over a period of three years, Stanley built his own halibut fishing boat and moved to Seldovia with his wife and youngest son. Four years later he and Vivian moved to Willow where they lived for 17 years until they came to Soldotna in 1999.
Most recently Stanley dedicated his time toward painting with oils. He has become a popular artist selling more than 100 pieces of his artwork.
"We will miss his stories and adventurousness. He loved being outside and not many could keep up with his endurance and strength. Stan was an exceptionally talented craftsman and a person you would look up to. Having high expectations, a compliment from him was rare but it would be something you remembered and treasured for years," his family said.
Stanley was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Toivo; sisters, Helen and Betty; and son Thomas.
He is survived by his wife, Vivian; daughter and son-in-law, Doris and Doug Hodgson of Anchorage; son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Dunya Aho of Kenai; step-sister Mary Hernandez of Lafayette, Cal.; numerous nephews, nieces, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and family across the U.S. and Germany.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First Choice Home Health & Hospice, 159 E. Redoubt, Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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