Alvar K Laiho
July 30, 1931 – May 4, 2019
Alvar K. Laiho, of Cornville, passed away May 4, 2019, with his wife by his side at Redington-Fairview Hospital in Skowhegan, Maine. He was born on July 30, 1931 in Boston, the son of Einar and Laine (Hamalainen) Laiho of Fitchburg, MA and Warren, ME. Mr. Laiho is survived by: his wife Cynthia (Magoon) Laiho of Cornville, his son Peter Laiho and wife Mary Alice of Fairfield, ME, daughters Susan and husband Charles Soule of Exeter, NH, Karol and husband Dominic Delia of Randolph, VT, and daughter Sonja Laiho of Portland, ME; stepdaughters Christine Barnard of Augusta, ME and Jill Barnard of Pittston, ME, granddaughters Maarta Laiho of Biddeford, ME, Erin Soule of Dublin, Ireland, Kaitlyn and husband Matt Shinberg of South Portland, ME, Mikaela Delia of Newark, DE, Mackenzie of San Diego; CA, grandson Nathan Demingware of Orlando, FL, step-granddaughters Sarah Delia, of Smyrna, DE, Lynn e Bouchard of Portland, ME and Lindsay Fortin of Augusta, ME and step-great-grandson Brayden of Augusta, Maine Al was a graduate Fitchburg High School and Norwich University where he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering degree and a commission in the US Army and then attended graduate school at Ohio State University. Al served in the Army during the Korean War era serving in Germany as a 1st/ Lt and Tank Platoon Leader at the Soviet Union border. Following discharge, he joined GE testing and evaluated the performance of rocket and jet engines. Later, as a systems analyst with a consulting firm in Washington, DC, he analyzed top secret US Air Force HQ information systems and US Navy antisubmarine weapon systems at the Pentagon. In 1970 he and his family moved to Warren, Maine. He was employed by the Maine State Development Office as Deputy Director until 1977 when he joined the Maine State Housing Authority. At the MSHA for 23 years he was Executive Assistant to the Director, Manager of Information Systems and later as a Financial Analyst before retiring in 2000.
Mr. and Mrs. Laiho moved to in Cornville in 2000 where they owned and operated Mountains View Bed & Breakfast on Hilton Hill for ten years. They acclaimed to their many guests from numerous states and foreign nations, "We have a million dollar view of Maine's mountains and sunsets that are spectacular". In 2014, Mr. Laiho completed a five year project publishing a history of Cornville's Hilton Hill, a prominent large tract of land that was the most important parcel of land owned by the principal founder of Cornville. He was inspired to write his book by the life he enjoyed in his retirement on the hill and from his friendship with Laurence Amazeen, Cornville's historian, thirty- three year former selectman and the then ninety-nine year most senior town citizen.
Al was a quiet unassuming person, a 60+ year member of the St. George Masonic Lodge in Warren, ME. He was proud of his Finnish heritage and family ancestry, a lover of nature, an avid reader, and a lover of both classical and country music. He was a student of history and geography and an avid fan of the New England Patriots. He especially enjoyed touring with his wife Cindy with whom they traveled virtually every country road of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and visited many states and Canadian provinces. During his lifetime Al had the opportunity to visit seventeen European countries including his family's 312-year old homestead in Finland now occupied by the family's 11th generation descendant.
Following cremation, a family memorial service will be held on a later date in Cornville, Maine at the Fogg Cemetery. Al requests that instead of flowers, donations may be made to the Cornville/ Athens Food Cupboard for more information contact Jean Tekverk at (207) 474-2981 or Cynthia Laiho at (207) 858- 0946 Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine.
Heartfelt thanks to the staff of the Redington-Fairview Hospital, and special thanks to Dr. Mike Lambke.