Lempi Mathilda Holopainen (nee Sammalisto)

Lempi Mathilda Holopainen (nee Sammalisto)

June 25, 1927 – June 11, 2018
Lempi died June 11th, 2018, two weeks short of the 91 years a fortune teller once promised her.

Born June 25, 1927 in Tarmola, now part of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Lempi raised children, cooked up a storm, both at home and in restaurants, and even drove a gravel truck when required. Thunder Bay was home for her first 40 years, after which she moved West: living in Richmond, Kokish, Nanaimo, Port Renfrew and Sooke, then moving back to Thunder Bay for a while before settling in Duncan for 35 years. At every stop she planted a garden and declared she would only leave feet first in a box.

Predeceased by her husband Paul, in 1990, her son Eric, and all of her 6 siblings, she is survived by daughters Elaine Lattimore, Linda (Rick) Love, Kathryn (Don Holmes), Cindy (Gregg) Meiklejohn and son Ernie Holt. She leaves behind 14 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild, as well as nieces and nephews and the “out-laws” she still kept in touch with.

Lempi was a true character and the matriarch of the family, and although her attempts to control were often resisted, they helped build a matching strength of character in her offspring. Grandchildren fondly remember her Finnish pancakes, flamboyant storytelling and sense of humour. When she could no longer knit she developed a passion for jigsaw puzzles, and when she couldn’t hold cards anymore she still played cribbage on her tablet.

We thank the staff at the Meadows in Duncan and at Oak Bay Lodge and Beacon Hill Villa in Victoria for their care and patience in these last few years. No service by request.

Family will gather in August at one of Lempi’s favorite picnic spots.

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