VANCOUVER Hannes H. Wirkkala, 97, passed from this life on Feb. 3, 2011, at his home in Vancouver. He was one of 13 children, and the last surviving son of Finnish immigrants Andrew K. and Hilda (Korpela) Wirkkala, and was born March 16, 1913, at home in Naselle.
Following graduation from Naselle High School, he was in partnership with three of his brothers in Wirkkala Brothers Logging and later Salmon Creek Logging in the Naselle area. He then attended the Assembly of God Bible School in Kirkland, before volunteering to serve with the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. While stationed at Geiger Field near Spokane, he met Anita Haynes and they married May 13, 1944.
Over a span of 46 years Mr. Wirkkala and his wife as a team pastored churches in Brooklyn, Conn., Spokane, Ilwaco and the greater Vancouver area. He retired at the age of 92 after pastoring for 26 years at the Yacolt Community Church. During the major portion of his pastoral career with small churches, house painting was often the sole source of his income.
Survivors include his daughters, Janis and husband Robert Blake of Vancouver, and Pat and husband Richard Weidenaar of Hockinson; a son, David and wife Sylvie of Vancouver; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and sisters Eva (Henry) Pellervo of Naselle and Aimee Carathers of Vancouver. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Arne, Oiva, Howard, Edwin, Lauri, Albert, Martin, Paul, Fred and Ben; and sister Elizabeth Lindholm. His wife of 66 years, Anita, died in June 2010.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Naselle Assembly of God Church. Following graveside rites at Peaceful Hill Cemetery in Naselle, a reception will be held at the church. His guest book is available at www.penttilaschapel.com.