Birthplace: Cleveland, OH
City of Residence: Chardon, OH
Memorial Date: 03/25/2013 - 11 a.m.
Memorial Location: Zion Lutheran Church, 508 Eagle St., Fairport Harbor.
Hilda Larson Nikkila passed into eternity on March 9, 2013. She died at her home in Chardon, at 91 years old.
She was born to Henry and Anna Lovisa (nee Mackey) Larson in Cleveland on April 12, 1921.
Hilda grew up in Cleveland Heights and graduated from Heights High School in 1939. She then went to Dykes College for secretarial training.
After her graduation, she began work at University Hospitals as secretary to the director of nursing.
Attending the National Suomi Synod Convention in Duluth, Minn., in 1942, Hilda was elected the secretary of their newly formed National Luther League. She acted in this capacity for six years until her marriage to Aatos M. Nikkila of Warren.
Hilda met Aatos (Nik) when they were 14 years old, at a summer church camp, Camp Luther, in Conneaut. They were married on June 26, 1948, at First English Lutheran Church in Cleveland Heights.
Hilda was a faithful helpmeet to Aatos, supporting him in his role as coach, teacher, and community servant. First living in Perry, they moved to Chardon in 1952, where they resided until the end of both of their lives.
Molly, Howard, and Jane were born to them within three years and Hilda was a stay-at-home-mom for their three children for the first 11 years. Then Hilda began working part time at King's Grocery Store on Chardon Square.
She began studying at Lake Erie College and graduated wth a degree in education in 1968. Halfway through her college, she started teaching at Opportunity School in Newbury Township, for special education students. She continued at what became Metzenbaum Opportunity School, Chesterland, until her retirement in 1981.
Through all the years, Hilda lived an active life in church, Girl Scout leading, travel and visiting with friends.
A member of Zion Lutheran Church in Fairport Harbor since 1948, she was on various committees, a Sunday School teacher and behind the scenes minister to women.
Hilda acted as secretary for Lake Erie Suomi Conference, was a Girl Scout leader for 25-plus years and a member of Delta Kappa Gamma teachers sorority for over 40 years.
She enjoyed camping with her family on summer trips all over the U.S.A., went to Finland twice, to Alaska, wintered in Florida for 30 years with her husband, and visited her grandchildren in Washington state yearly.
Friends will remember many visits with Nikkilas at various homes or restaurants through the years.
Hilda is survived by her daughters, Molly of Chardon and Jane (Mark) Sterland of Centralia, Wash.; grandchildren, Matthew, David, John and Laura Sterland, and Katherine (Joel) Cummins; brother-in-law, Hans Lanner; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; son, Howard; and sister, Mildred.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. March 25 at Zion Lutheran Church, 508 Eagle St., Fairport Harbor.
Calling hours will be from 6-8 p.m. Sunday at Potti Funeral Home, 538 Fifth St., Fairport Harbor, and at 10 a.m. until the service on Monday, at the church.
Burial will follow at Chardon Municipal Cemetery.
Contributions in Hilda's memory can be made to Camp Luther's "Luther Bluff Fund" in care of Molly Nikkila.