Nosov, Jorma

Jorma Matti Nosov left us on 6 March 2021. He was 78. He is survived by his wife, Marjatta, and daughters Ritva (Shaun) and Teija. Jorma is mourned in Finland, most especially by siblings Tuula (Hannu), Ahti and Leena (Erkki) and their respective families. He will also be missed by many friends in Canada. As an immigrant to a new land, the ties that bind newfound friends are strong and they become like family, supporting one another through the good and not so good times. Thank you for your support of us at this time. Jorma was predeceased by parents (Nikolai and Helvi), siblings (Heikki, Ulla and Pekka) and a long line of cherished pets and strays he buried in the backyard with full funeral rites. He was born on 26 August 1942 in Varkaus, Finland to a country ravaged by both the Winter War and WWII. His early years were spent eking out an existence on the land with his family and the horses he adored, the lakes and forests nearby for adventure. The situation called for resourcefulness and humour, traits Jorma had in spades and which would come in handy throughout his life. Jorma always had a “pilke silmäkulmassa” (twinkle in the eye) and was well known in the neighbourhood for his high jinks. If a prank had gone down, a knock was usually delivered at the Nosov homestead as the odds were high, he was involved. Adventure and opportunity beckoned in far-off Canada. At 22, Jorma made a pact with two buddies to head here for a two-year trial; two of them went on to make Canada their home. Sponsored on a farm, he chased chickens around and picked asparagus during his initial days here. (Despite this, he still surprisingly loved eating asparagus until the end.) From there, he went on to work in the forests of northern Ontario and machine shops of Toronto. During those early years, he made tight connections within the Finnish community in the greater Toronto area. Joining the Sisu Athletic Club, he competed in cross-country skiing races, was part of a men’s acrobatic gymnastics group (a real highlight was performing at Expo 67 in Montréal!) and had many good laughs learning English with his fellow members. In 1968, Jorma smelled good economic opportunity and settled in Sudbury. It was at a Finnish dance that he met Marjatta. (The longstanding bet is it was the legs that got his attention.) They were married in July 1970. Opposites in many respects, they were nonetheless aligned in their values and a relentless work ethic. Together, they made a formidable team in building a home and raising a family. To support his family, Jorma worked as miner across northwestern Ontario and into northern Québec. In a workplace full of immigrants, no one could pronounce anyone’s name so Jorma was known as Cowboy. It always took his family a long minute to make the connection that whenever someone was calling the house asking for Cowboy, it was indeed for our Isi (father) and that meant new work was available. Never one to take a vacation, Jorma said goodbye to the underground life by retiring at 50. He then relished not having to get up at 3am to start driving to work and enjoyed the outdoors, spending a lot of time at his beloved camp on Lake Penage. He had a soft spot for all animals, especially birds. (We have always suspected his need to protect all the birds stemmed from guilt associated with climbing many a tree in Finland as a young boy and smashing the bird eggs he found there). Jorma was best known for his laugh. It was an outburst of joy, usually heard at the end of a punchline or a successful prank. The only time he returned to Finland, he reveled in showing up unannounced at his unsuspecting siblings’ workplaces and old friends’ doorsteps. Unexpected and unrecognizable after 23 years, it was only when he started to laugh that everyone instantly knew exactly who was standing before them. A gifted storyteller, Jorma could regale family and friends over the phone for hours with his unique takes on life. He was notorious for the pranks that he was forever conjuring up. He kept Marjatta on her toes, popping out of various corners in different masks, danced daily around the house with one of the cats dangling off his shoulders and liked to awaken his daughters with a foghorn on weekend mornings, especially if a sleepover was in progress. He loved to entertain the neighborhood kids by taking out his prosthetic eye for them on a regular basis. Whenever he occasionally got the chance to drive teenaged Ritva to school, he would start honking two streets away so his red-faced daughter’s entire high school would know she had arrived for the day. Jorma was also known for his craftsmanship and generosity. What he designed and built was solid. It withstood time and the elements, whether it was his home, the camp, his gardens, or the smoking hot sauna stoves he was asked to build for people. His resourcefulness came in handy then and each time he was asked to solve a problem for someone. Our household was constantly getting calls for his help with emergency leaks, home repairs or to tow a vehicle out of a ditch during a snowstorm. We regularly arrived home to find unfamiliar cars in our driveway awaiting his attention. No matter the day, time, or weather conditions, he always went and offered a helping hand. Besides his problem-solving prowess, Jorma was widely known for his smoked fish. (For those who wonder, he did take his super-secret spice concoction to the grave). It brought him great pleasure to package some newly smoked fish up, prop it on someone’s doorknob, ring the bell and scurry away to surprise them with some deliciousness. Finnish blood coursed through his veins so Jorma had a healthy dose of stubbornness and sisu in him. This sisu came in handy over the years as he maneuvered his way around multiple workplace accidents and injuries. It also served him well as he navigated the twists and turns of aging and the diseases he was inflicted with in his later years. We admired his fortitude to endure with dignity until the very end. We must pass along our heartfelt thanks to the Health Sciences North team where Jorma spent his final days. In particular, Dr. Thakrar, along with Dr. Mahoney and nurses/PSWs Trish, Jacob, Kelly and Cathy, exemplified why health care is such a noble profession. Jorma’s was a life well-lived, and he has earned a well-deserved rest. Going forward, there will be no funeral. Instead, we are choosing to celebrate his life by steaming out our sorrows in a piping hot sauna, savoring some smoked fish, spending time outdoors listening to the birds, and of course coaxing a smile out of someone with a joke or a prank. Should you feel the need to do something on his behalf, then a donation in his name to either the Finlandia Sisu Foundation, Canadian Diabetes Association, the Kidney Foundation of Canada or one of your choice would be appreciated. P.S. It has proven mighty challenging to find a photo of Jorma where he is not making a funny face for the camera. We did, however, manage to find the more serious one you see. We figure that when he drops by to spy on what we posted about him, he will be surprised by this final curveball we managed to throw at him. ;-).


6 Condolences

  1. Marjatta, Ritva and Teija

    My most sincere sympathies. I have fond memories of a man I admire.
    My thoughts are with you.


    By: Ghislain
    March 29, 2021
  2. Marjatta, Ritva and Teija

    In memory of Jorma Nosov
    We are so sorry for your loss.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Lauri, Tauno and Tapio Majuri

    By: Tapio Majuri
    March 24, 2021
  3. Ritva and Family,

    My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Your father was an amazing person. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Christine Yao

    By: Christine Yao
    March 18, 2021
  4. Ritva and family,

    So sorry for your loss. I will cradle you in my heart.

    Lots of love, Toni

    By: Toni
    March 12, 2021
  5. Marjatta, Ritva and Teija

    My deepest sympathies. Lovely obituary and it brings back such great memories of our time with him at camp. Jorma was a great friend to my dad (Manu Koski) and the rides in his boat will forever remain part of my favourite childhood memories. Our Sauna still has Jorma’s craftsmanship in it (a testament to his skills).

    Maire Stewart (Koski)

    By: Maire Stewart
    March 11, 2021
  6. Our deepest condolence at this time . Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

    By: Pertti and Carolyn Tupakka
    March 10, 2021

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