Keijo Kurkaa, age 85 of Maynard, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on Monday, April 26, 2021, just shy of a yearlong battle with cancer. Keijo was the loving husband of Brita I. (Forsstrom) Kurkaa.
Born in Lappee, Finland, on April 29, 1935, Keijo was the son of the late Eevert and Maria E. (Mantykivi) Kurkaa. Keijo was raised in Iitiä, Finland and graduated from Pori Technical Institute in Pori, Finland in May 1966. In 1967, after obtaining a green card, Keijo emigrated to the United States. He then convinced his girlfriend Brita to come over for a "visit". Keijo and Brita married on November 23, 1968 and settled in Maynard to raise a family together.
Keijo worked as a mechanic for many years, primarily in Watertown and Wellesley, and independently for a number of years.
Keijo cherished time spent with his family and close friends at the family lake house in Ashburnham, on Lake Watatic. He built the lake house in the early '80's after years of camping there with Brita and his two young daughters. Keijo's favorite hobby was building and he was quite a talented, self-taught woodworking craftsman. He had an aptitude for figuring things out and fixing whatever was handed to him, whether it was a car, a home appliance or a Barbie house. He built a playhouse for his girls, and multiple additions to the house. Seemed he was always coming up with another project to work on.
Keijo enjoyed listening to birdsong, fishing, relaxing outside with a fire. He had a great sense of humor.
Keijo came from a family with a rich musical heritage. He enjoyed playing the accordion and harmonica. Keijo loved watching sports, favorites being hockey, boxing and formula 1. Always cheering for his fellow countrymen. He was a member of the Finnish Center of Saima Park in Fitchburg for many years.
Keijo is survived by his wife, Brita I. Kurkaa of Maynard, MA; his daughters, Minna E. Kurkaa Riggi and husband Cyril Riggi of Rognes, France; Tania M. Kurkaa of Maynard, MA; his siblings, Kalevi Kurkaa and Kirsti Kurkaa of Finland; his grandchildren, Anton Riggi, Elias Riggi, Emmett Walker and Annika Walker. He was predeceased by his siblings Kaija Lund, Olavi Kurkaa, Elvi Hayrinen, Kaarina Kurkaa and Ritva Haikala.
The family is insistent on no gifts but would love to hear your memories and stories about Keijo. Please join us for a visitation at Fowler-Kennedy Funeral Home on Saturday, May 8th from 10am-noon. Following the visitation please join the family for coffee and refreshments at their home at 5 Country Lane.