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.
You can share memories of Arja at neilbardalinc.com.