Hans Kusisto passed away on July 29, 2014 doing what he loved most, working on his farm. Hans was born to Frank and Lempi Kusisto, in their home, in Gleneden on February 1, 1922. He lived in Gleneden his entire life.
He spent some time away from home working underground at Pioneer Mine and in the shipyard in Vancouver prior to his service overseas during World War II. During his time overseas he was in Belgium, England, Germany, and was involved with the liberation of Holland. One of his proudest moments was being part of a select group of Canadian soldiers chosen for a ceremonial procession for the Queen of the Netherlands.
After his discharge from the army, Hans returned to Gleneden where he met Bonnie Thurston. The two were married on June 15, 1949; they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this past June. Together, they built their first home, a two room log house. As their family grew with the birth of their two children, Nancy and Jim, Hans and Bonnie built a larger house on the same farm. This house still remains the family home. The original log home was later converted to a wood working shop where Hans spent many hours crafting and teaching his grandchildren how to build birdhouses.
Hans spent most of his working career as a journeyman carpenter and cabinet maker. He worked on many homes and commercial buildings in the Salmon Arm area. After he retired, he finally found time to build an authentic Finnish sauna which he and Bonnie enjoyed twice weekly right up to the time of his passing. Hans was always proud of his Finnish ancestry.
In his youth he was a competitive cross country skier and ski jumper. There were three ski jump trestles, built on the Kusisto’s farm, that were used for jumping competitions.
Hans always enjoyed fishing. He spent many happy hours fishing with Bonnie and his other fishing buddies on White Lake and other surrounding lakes. As a family, the Kusisto’s enjoyed many Sundays creek fishing and picnicking at Chase Creek.
The Kusisto’s always had a huge garden that produced enough fruit and vegetables to feed their family and half of Gleneden. When Hans couldn’t be outside, in his garden or puttering around his farm, he enjoyed reading. He especially enjoyed reading stories of local history, northern Canada and nature.
Hans was known for his teasing. No one was spared: family members, friends and even store clerks. He was also famous for giving funny nicknames to people, especially the kids.
Family was important to Hans, grandchildren and great grandchildren provided him with hours of enjoyment. He was always a patient listener and a willing teacher.
Hans was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Lempi Kusisto and his eldest sister Selma, who died as an infant. He is survived by Bonnie, his wife of 65 years, his daughter Nancy (Morley) and his son Jim (Karen), grandchildren Erin (Jeff), Tanya (Matt), Chad (Lindsay), Jason (Karen), great grandchildren Megan, Brynn, Kaia, Kennedy, Jack, Raylie and Emily. He is also survived by his sister Evelyn Syme and many nieces and nephews.
There will be no funeral service as per his request. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Online condolences may be sent through Hans’ obituary at www.bowersfuneralservice.com