The family wishes to extend deep gratitude to all, for the prayers, support, comforting messages, flowers and cards during this time of bereavement.
Born on January 24th, 1942 in Muuruvesi, Finland, to Eerik and Tilda Hämäläinen, Kaarina was the fourth youngest of twelve children.
Her early years were spent on the rural family farm, but at the age of 12, showing high aptitude, Kaarina gained entrance to a new grammar school in the city of Kuopio. Weekdays she boarded while travelling home at the weekends.
Being very talented at learning languages—six in total—Kaarina studied at university in Helsinki and Jyväskylä. She came to England to study English for three months as part of her seven-year degree program and worked as an au pair. Soon after arriving, while at a local church hall dance, Kaarina met Joseph. It was both their first time there and looking back, their meeting was destiny. They danced until closing—beginning their almost sixty years of loving one another and 56 years of marriage.
Although a quiet, thoughtful person, Kaarina was an adventurer, as demonstrated by her leaving home at such a young age, lots of solo travel on planes, trains and boats between Finland and England, and her many holidays to Europe, Mauritius and the United States.
Family was very important to Kaarina. She was a happy, loving and devoted mother to Francoise, Christine, Ellen and Mark, and adored her grandchildren—Chloe, Katherine, William and Matilda. She doted on her husband and loved her pets. As a lifelong student, Kaarina was always interested in reading and learning. Big family Sunday dinners were one of her favourite things. She enjoyed bringing family together, especially over a meal. Kaarina’s famous birthday cake was loved by all lucky enough to taste it.
Throughout her life, Kaarina remained proudly Finnish and bestowed her love of all things Finnish on her family through long holidays to her homeland and visits to the Christmas Finnish Fair in London.
The Finnish people are known for their “sisu”—an integral part of the character of Finland. It’s untranslatable, but its essence is determination, bravery, resilience, and hardiness. Kaarina exemplified sisu—fighting Parkinson’s until the very end, with Joseph, her devoted caregiver, by her side.
She passed peacefully, surrounded by her family, enveloped in love, and will be sadly missed.
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A selection of floral posies. Approximate sizes are:
A beautiful range of sympathy baskets. Approximate sizes include:
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