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NEEROT, Agnes

Monday, December 03, 2012

Born August 8, 1921, in Torva, Estonia, passed away peacefully in the Mauno Kaihla Koti nursing home on Sunday, November 11, 2012.  Her early life was difficult at best, because at age 11 she lost her mother to cancer and was sent to live and work with a farm family.  Later, during her years as an independent young adult in the Republic of Estonia, she lived in Tartu and in Tallinn, the two largest cities of the country.  The good life ended when the Soviet army occupied Estonia for about a year in 1940/41.  It was a troubled and dangerous time.  Agnes' brother was imprisoned and some of her relatives were deported to Siberia.  When the Soviets came back for a second time in 1944, Agnes was able to escape by boat to Sweden, just ahead of the advancing Russian army.  In Sweden, Agnes married Johannes, a fellow Estonian.  Both worked and saved their earnings.  This enabled them to immigrate to Canada in 1951 and eventually to Sault Ste. Marie, where Johannes found work in the Algoma Steel Mill.  Johannes was a superb and energetic craftsman.  He and Agnes built a comfortable house, mostly with their own hands, with virtually no other construction help.  They established a large and very productive garden behind the house and made a very good life for themselves. Agnes loved her garden and spent a great deal of time tending her flowers and vegetables.  Agnes lost her beloved husband in 2001.  She continued to live in the house that she and Johannes built, until she became ill in April, 2012.  She spent the end of her days in the MKK nursing home, where the Finnish American culture was similar to her own Estonian heritage.  Agnes is survived by relatives in Estonia and in the USA. Friends are invited to attend the memorial service at the Arthur Funeral Home & Cremation Centre on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 2 pm.  In lieu of flower, memorial contributions to the Ontario Finnish Resthome Association would be appreciated. Expressions of sympathy may be offered at www.arthurfuneralhome.com