Turcotte, Tarja

In loving memory of Tarja Turcotte (nee Jarviaho), aged 86, who passed away Tuesday, August 25, 2020. Daughter of the late Einari and Anna (nee Mäkelä) Jarviaho. Sister of Kosti (Anneka) Jarviaho, Lasse (Irma) Jarviaho, both passed, and Lippo (Raili) Jarviaho, both passed, and of Kari (Irma) Kaunisto and Katja (Jouko) Kivioja. She will be dearly missed by her many friends, nieces, and nephews, both at home and abroad. Beloved wife of the late Paul Turcotte, cherished mother of René and André (Deborah) Turcotte, and adored grandmother of Alexi Turcotte. Tarja was born November 18th, 1933, in Vimpeli, Finland. In 1954, she was mere 21 years old when she came to Canada (by boat!), taking up work in Elliot Lake, Ontario. This is where she met and fell in love with Paul, her future husband, surmounting a language barrier (her Finnish, and his French), proving that true love knows no obstacle. They moved to Disraeli, Québec, in the mid-1960s where all were “in awe of the Finn girl”. Tarja and Paul were married May 17th, 1961, shortly after the birth of their first boy, René, in December 1960. The budding family settled in Sudbury, Ontario, in 1966, where they soon welcomed their second son, André, in 1969. Tarja and Paul started a contracting business, Paul Turcotte and Sons Excavating, of which Tarja was proud to call herself President. In one of the happiest days of her life, she welcomed her grandson Alexi into the world in 1993. Tarja was very fond of hats, especially berets, and was always fashionable. She was something of a skilled, amateur tailor, which surely helped her keep up with the trends. She was also an accomplished painter, painting many portraits and landscapes in oils and watercolour. Tarja’s spirit was bursting with love, from the moment she was born to the moment she passed. In her youth she cared for a wide variety of animals, including goats, pigs, and geese. She tended a vast and plentiful garden, harvesting a bounty of tomatoes, garlic, and potatoes (a favourite, and a staple of her cuisine.) But most of all, she loved her family and her friends. The tender “good morning’s, the bold smell of the strong coffee that she readily shared, the unmistakable smell of fresh pulla, and the sweet kisses good night will be sorely missed. Her grandson recalls a conversation where he asked her “Grandma, what would you do if someone broke into the house?” Her reply sums up her welcoming and generous nature: “I would make them coffee.” Everyone that knew her felt her love, as she had so much love to give, and she gave it freely. Hers was a regal presence: she was strong, proud, and always knew how to look on the bright side, perhaps because of her own radiance. Her passing leaves the world darker, though her afterglow will undoubtedly keep us warm for years to come. She is truly unforgettable; those that knew her were blessed, and she left us all with enough fond memories to last our lifetimes. Tarja’s family would like to thank all of the staff of Finlandia Village for taking great care of her.  Tarja was laid to rest at the Valley East Cemetery in Hanmer, and a celebration of her life will be planned at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, donations in honour of Tarja to the Alzheimer Society of Sudbury would be greatly appreciated and can be done by phone at (705) 560-0603.


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