Lillian Elizabeth R. Luhtala

March 20, 1908September 5, 2013

Lillian Elizabeth R. Luhtala, 105, passed away peacefully into the arms of her Savior on September 5, in Green Valley, AZ. Lillian was an incredibly generous, caring, kind and vivacious woman who loved her family and friends. She was passionate about good health, exercising and eating well until her final years, and frequently expressed her thankfulness to God for a wonderful life.

Lillian was born on a farm in Ishpeming, Michigan to Finnish immigrants and had three sisters and one brother. In her younger years, she worked various jobs in Michigan and Illinois, including about 20 years with Abbott Laboratories in Waukegan, IL, but was especially fond of gourmet cooking. For a number of years, she served as a cook in Lake Forest, IL, where she perfected her culinary skills.

After retirement, she and her late husband, Matti Ilmari Luhtala, moved to Tucson in 1963. They were both very active in the Kaleva Seura and the Finnish American Club of Tucson. Over many years, Lillian held different positions on the Club’s board as well as wrote for several Finnish-American newspapers. She was fluent in both Finnish and English. After her husband Matti passed away in 1979, she traveled extensively in the US and Europe. She was truly a young soul with much passion and energy for life, family and friends, and was known for composing hand-written letters with impeccable penmanship well into her late 90’s.

Although we celebrate that she now dances in the presence of her Savior, our beloved Aunt Lillian will be deeply missed by many extended family members and friends in Arizona, Michigan, California, Alabama and Florida. The family of Lillian Luhtala invites you to a Memorial Service to celebrate her life at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, September 12, 2013 at East Lawn Palms Mortuary in Tucson, AZ. In remembrance of Lillian and her generous spirit, please make a gift in her memory to a charity or Christian ministry of your choice.

The family is especially thankful for your prayers and support at this time, and for the personal caregivers and hospice workers that cared for her these past several years, and especially the staff of Casa de Sonshine Assisted Living in Sahuarita, AZ.

To sign a guest book for Lillian please visit


  • Memorial Service Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lillian Elizabeth R. Luhtala

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September 11, 2013

Lili-tätiä muistellen

Anna-Liisa ja Juhani Palojärvi perheineen

September 10, 2013

Meillä oli tilaisuus osallistua Lillianin 105 vuotis syntymäpäiville viime talvena. Hän teki meihin lähtemättömän vaikutuksen iloisuudellaan, eloisuudellaan ja erityisesti kielitaidollaan; vaikka hän ei ollut koskaan asunut Suomessa, hän puhui erityisen hyvää suomea ja vaihtoi sujuvasti kielestä toiseen keskustelijan mukaan. Hänen tapansa huolehtia omasta kunnostaan ja hyvinvoinnistaan sopii esimerkiksi monille nuoremmille.

Lillian sai elää pitkän ja vaiherikkaan elämän. Toivottavasti hän on tallentanut muistojaan vaikkapa kirjalliseen muotoon; hänhän oli erittäin sujuvasanainen kirjoittaja.

Muistelemme Lilliania suurella kunnioituksella

Hannele, Jaakko, Anna ja Ilkka Luhtala