1939 – 2021
Edwin Arnold Penttinen, 81, (9 days short of 82) passed away peacefully to be with his Eternal Lord and Savior, Jesus, on Good Friday, April 2, 2021 in New Hope, MN.
Ed had traveled from Alaska to Florida to pick up the RV he purchased. Richard joined Edwin in Florida to assist driving the RV on the long drive back to Minnesota. On March 30, 2021, their first stop in Minnesota was to visit their nephew, Bruce Arola (Kerry), in Carver County. Edwin and Richard ate breakfast with Bruce and spent some time visiting. Later in the day, Richard and Edwin went to their nephew Craig Penttinen’s (Jennifer) for spaghetti dinner. In the evening, the brothers headed to Crystal to visit their sister, Stella and Harvey. As they left, Ed said thanks for making coffee so l0ate and ‘ goodbye.” After visiting Richard and Edwin drove to a nearby grocery store and parked the RV overnight. In the morning Richard went to check on Ed be cause it was unusual that he would still be sleeping. Richard found Edwin still in bed and could not rouse him, nor did he find a pulse, so Richard called the New Hope 911. On the morning of Good Friday, we learned the shocking news that Edwin had passed away. This was Ed’s last adventure before departing his earthly home and we are blessed that he was able to visit family.
Ed was born in Becker County, Shell Lake Twp to William Henry Penttinen and Mary (Anderson) at their smaJll farm on April 10, 1939. Ed grew up there and went to country school Dist# 82 and graduated from High School in Frazee, MN, in 1956.
Shortly after graduation he went to work as a merchant marine for a year on the Great Lakes doing ore shipping. He went to California and took an under-water welding course. He returned to Minneapolis and joined the 49ers to work as an iron worker and welder on some big projects including the IDS Center (skyscraper), Multi Foods Tower, and the Becker Power Plant.
Ed decided to go to Alaska where his school friend Robert Latto was living in Anchorage, AK. From there, he went to Fairbanks, AK where he settled and became friends with a couple older men, Bullwinkle and Anti Havisto (a Finnish immigrant) from Menahga, MN. Being a skilled welder, Ed went to work on the Alyeska Pipe Line way up North in no-mans land. When he was done on the pipeline he returned to Fairbanks. He became friends with many guys who loved buying things that needed repairs, and then would fix and sell them. They were addicted to auctions, for their hobbies. Ed had no more room at his Fairbanks place to store stuff, so he purchased a piece of property with a building in the North Pole, AK just 10 miles south of Fairbanks. Ed’s Facebook page called it Ed’s Shed.
Ed retired quite early from the 49ers, but continued with his hobbies. He loved salmon fishing and he loved Alaska – even the bitter cold winters. He did come to MN during some winters for awhile at times, but always returned to Alaska. Ed was a very kind person and had the willingness to help anyone that needed help with projects. A jack of all trades you might call him.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents Bill and Mary Penttinen, brother-in-law Robert Boos, sister-in-law Renee Penttinen, nephew David Arola, niece Tiffany Penttinen, aunts, uncles, and several good friends.
Ed is survived by siblings Stella Arola (Harvey), Edith Boos of Minneapolis, and brother Richard Penttinen of Detroit Lakes, MN; nephews: Bruce (Kerry) and Jeff (Rita) Arola, Craig Penttinen (Jennifer); nieces: Mary Jo Thor (Mike Hofferber), Kirstin Saulsbury (Tom) and Erin Pettigrew (Eric) and many grand nephews and grand nieces. Ed never married.
Donations can be made to Snellman Church or Finnish Salolampi Foundation; PO Box 14480, Minneaoplis, MN 55514-0480
Funeral arrangements are set for Saturday, April 24 2021,with a memorial service at 11 a.m. at Getsemanie Lutheran Church, Snellman, MN. Lunch following Memorial service. 4-28c