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Arja Salo

Arja Aulikki Salo (Vaarto)

Sunday, November 23rd, 1930 - Sunday, August 16th, 2020
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Arja Salo died peacefully on August 16, 2020 at Golden Links Lodge in Winnipeg with family at her bedside.
Arja Aulikki Vaarto, the only child of Irja and Eino Vaarto, was born in Jyväskylä, Finland on November 23, 1930. Arja graduated from a private girls’ high school and soon after met and married the love of her life, Veikko (Vic) Salo in 1949. They arrived in Canada in 1951 with their one year old son, Ilkka, settling in Edmonton where they had two more sons, Tony and Kim, and a daughter, Marita. In 1961 the family moved to Winnipeg, buying a home in River Heights where Arja loved to host dinner parties and entertain. She excelled at sewing and cooking, and her binder full of recipes with handwritten notes (“quick, easy and great for company”) is a treasured family heirloom. Everyone gathered for her Sunday roast dinners and Arja made holidays special, decorating the house and baking for weeks before Christmas. She was famous for her Finnish pulla bread and her loaves sold out quickly at the Scandinavian Centre bake sales and at the Scandinavian Pavilion at Folklorama where she volunteered for many years.

Arja worked part-time as a Sales Associate in the downtown Winnipeg Eaton’s girls’ wear department for over 30 years, taking summers off to spend time at the family cottage on the Winnipeg River near Pointe du Bois, Manitoba. For almost 50 years, the cottage was Arja’s happy place, decorated with her Finnish flair. It was a social hub for neighbours who dropped in for afternoon coffee or wine in the gazebo or on the deck, and for weekend visitors. The Salos hosted the local crowd at their annual “Regatta Season Opening Party” on the May long weekend (although no one had a sailboat at Pte. du Bois). Vic and Arja were wonderful dancers who shared a love of music and would roll up the rug at the cottage to take a turn around the floor. Summers were full of fishing, blueberry picking, barbecues, sauna-going and swimming. For many winters, Arja and Vic enjoyed getaways to Mexico with friends and Christmases in Victoria and Vancouver visiting family.

If the measure of a good life is how much you are loved and love others, then Arja’s was a life well lived. Predeceased by her husband Vic, son Tony and son-in-law Geoffrey Morrow, Arja will be lovingly remembered by her sons Ilkka (Audrey) and Kim (Susan), daughter Marita Morrow, and daughter-in-law Linda, as well as her grandchildren Aisia (Chris), Kai (Helen), Michael (Kirsten), Matthew (Nicole), Liane, and Leif, and great-grandchildren Isaac, Iris, Thea, Macy, Coen, and Mikko.

Many thanks to the staff at Golden Links Lodge for their care, especially over the last month since Arja suffered a stroke. The family will gather to celebrate her life at a later date due to the pandemic.

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Private Condolence

June Wiebe

Posted at 08:00am
I have many memories of Arja at Pointe du Bois and also from the years she was involved with the Finnish Canadian Club. I posted a few photos. Arja volunteered her baking and time volunteering for the Scandinavian Christmas Market as well as other events. For years she attended the Finnish Canadian Club annual Christmas party (Pikku Joulu) and Sunday morning brunches. Summers were always spent at the cottage in the earlier years. Arja enjoyed being surround by nature, going to sauna, swimming in the chilly Winnipeg River and having fun with her long time friends. I recall eons ago Arja and Vic dancing the Finnish "jenka dance" upstairs at the Marigold Restaurant on Portage Avenue. We were celebrating Eronen's wedding anniversary.
I have two messages from Vancouver Island.
Eeva wrote:
"Arja was one of the Finnish moms at Pointe who welcomed us kids with open arms whenever we happened to stop by. She was such a nice lady and I always remember her talking to me like I was a grown up even though I was just a kid. She always encouraged us to hang out with Tony and Kim on weekends and often made us lunch. And yes...I remember the Finnish gatherings on the May long weekend. What fun for all the families when we had those pot luck dinner parties. Arja was always ready to go blueberry picking with my mom and with us kids...lunches...coleman stoves to make coffee in the bush while picking."
Tuula wrote:
"It is a beautifully-written obituary narrative that was written for her. My mother knew Arja when she lived in Edmonton. All my condolences to the friends and family members that mourn her passing."

Marita Morrow Posted at 02:27pm

Thank you June, for posting photos of our mom at the Scandinavian Centre, and for sharing some happy memories. We very much appreciate you passing along the kind words and memories from Eeva and Tuula as well. Marita (on behalf of the Salo family)

Jaana Sauso

Posted at 04:41pm
It was a fateful cold winter day in March 1968 when shopping for bathing suits at the children's wear department in Eaton's on Portage Avenue that became a life long relationship with Arja and the Salo family for us. A bathing suit was purchased and dinner plans put in place for us 'new immigrants' and thus began a friendship spanning a lifetime. Arja will always be part of our family history, With much love and fond memories we bid you a final farewell .

Anja Sauso
Jaana Sauso (Jullian, Devin Maddie and Ida)
Lea Sauso (Shari (Derek) Lea and Asher)


Kathy Eronen Posted at 06:39pm

Nice! Very cool to know.

Marita Morrow Posted at 02:33pm

Thanks, Jaana. We shared many happy times with your family at our cottage and Christmases together in Winnipeg. Marita

Pirkko Pietiläinen

Posted at 03:33pm
We remenber Arja as a wonderful host of her dinner parties. She provided us newcomers many useful tips. We stil have some of her recepies. Unforgettable was also our visit to Arja's cottage. Fishing, smoking fish, meals in the gazebo, sauna and Arja's hospitality. She even arranged a boat trip for us on the beautyful Winnipeg River.

Muistamme Arjaa lämmöllä.
Pirkko & Pekka Pietiläinen - Oulu, Finland

Marita Morrow Posted at 02:37pm

Kiitos, Pirkko ja Pekka. Marita

Tamara Broder

Posted at 03:21pm
There is not 1 particular memory of Arja that I have. Rather, it's an overall feeling of how I remember her and most importantly how I felt when I was with her. When I was growing up, every time I walked through the back door of the house and up the stairs and into the kitchen there was Arja greeting me with a warm, welcoming smile. Always!
Years later, as an adult , I saw her less frequently but she was the same -kind, accepting and genuine. Of course , her sewing and baking were legendary and oh how I loved her pulla bread. My first taste of coffee was mama Salo's. I will always remember her with a smile and gratitude.

Marita Morrow Posted at 02:37pm

Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your memories of our mom. Marita

Kathy Eronen

Posted at 08:22pm
How can you share all the memories and Love shared between our 2 families? 💔 So many of Pointe du Bois, the way Arja would say “ Ehanna”🎼 !” As she swam, as she got excited to see Vic Friday night after spending women’s week at the cottage, her laugh, which was often, her imitations of Tony or the delicious crunch of any of her cookies. She was one of a kind. “If the measure of a good life is how much you are loved and love others, then Arja’s was a life well lived. “ 💞 Condolences to the family, with many tears and much Love, Kathy Eronen.

Marita Morrow Posted at 02:56pm

Thanks, Kathy, for bringing back great memories of summers at Pointe du Bois. The Salo and Eronen families shared many wonderful times there and in the city. Our mom loved visiting back and forth between our cottages, and especially feeding all the kids her cookies and baking. Marita

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