Reino (Ray) Koskimaki passed away peacefully in the early hours of November 16, 2008, at Parkview Place in Enderby. Reino was born in Three-Valley, B.C. on June 17, 1910. The first child of Juho (John) and Anna Koskimaki to be born in Canada, after emigrating from Finland with Reino’s two older sisters, Ila and Ellie. His parents purchased 20 acres of land in Mara in
December 1910. Two more sisters were added to the family there, Effie and Viola. His mother Anna, passed away when he was only nine years old. He received his education at Mara school, then worked at the Cominco Smelter in Trail, and later for Cominco at Germansen’s Landing in northern B.C.
In April of 1934, Reino and his father purchased a second farm, (100 acre), in Mara, and he remained on that farm until 1961. Reino and Edna (Cadden) were married in Vernon on August 25, 1937, a marriage that would last for 70 years, until the death of Edna in November of 2007. They provided a loving home for their three children on the farm in Mara. Reino’s father, Juho (John) also lived with the family after his retirement from the CPR. In 1961, Reino and Edna sold their farm to the Bruns family and moved to Enderby.
As well as farming, Reino was well known as a mechanic in the area, and worked in the CPR shops in Revelstoke, as well as at Felix Garage and McDowell Motors in Vernon. He worked for Pritchard Farm Equipment in Armstrong, and completed his working years with what later became Hornby Equipment in Armstrong. He had a love of learning, and was an avid reader.
He completed a course in Diesel Mechanics with the Chicago Vocational Institute, and took several courses in Farm Equipment Repairs, as well as other courses at night school, and later instructed a night school course himself.
Reino was also a musician, and played the accordion, saxophone and violin. He played for many dances in the Mara Hall, as well as in Grindrod, Springbend, Cambie and Solsqua. There were many musical evenings in the Koskimaki household, both in Mara and Enderby. He still played his button accordion at Parkview just two weeks before his passing.
Reino was a wonderful husband and father, and loved to be at home surrounded by family. He was the Rural Representative for School District 21 (Armstrong-Enderby) in the early 1950’s. After retirement, he and Edna became involved with the Okanagan Historical Society, Enderby Museum, the
Old Time Dance Club and the Enderby Senior Citizens complex. He was President of the Senior Citizens Complex for more than one term, and was named Enderby’s Senior Citizen of the Year in 1987. He was also a member of the Oddfellows Lodge, first in Rossland, and later in Enderby.
Reino was predeceased by his wife Edna, and sisters Ila, Ellie and Effie. He will always be in the memory of his sister, Viola Dudley of Rossland, daughters Elaine (Chuck) Armstrong of Blind Bay, Donna (Allan) Ford of Salmon Arm, and son Daryl (Elaine) Koskimaki of Salmon Arm. He will also be lovingly remembered by grandchildren Sheila (Glen), Gordon (Karen), both of Chilliwack, Sandra (Allan) of Quesnel, Kelvin (Pamela) of Abbotsford, Denise (Jack) of Castlegar, Kerri of Vancouver, Renee (Leroy) of Kamloops, Rhonda (Mitsuru), Jill (Chester) and Brent (Teresa), all of Calgary, and Craig of Lethbridge. He also leaves many wonderful memories for his 21 great-grandchildren, sisters-in-law Gladys Koski of Lumby and Eleanor Cadden of Vernon, and many nieces and nephews, of whom he was very fond. We will all miss his wonderful laugh, and his kind and caring nature.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Parkview Place for their wonderful and considerate care and compassion, as well as Dr. Annan.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, November 22, 6:30 PM at the Enderby Senior Citizens Complex. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Enderby Museum.
Email condolences may be sent to
Funeral arrangements by Bowers Funeral Home of Salmon Arm.