Passing of “Lauri” Larry Saukko

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Dear Salolampi Community,

Iida and I share the following news with great sadness in our hearts.

This afternoon we learned that Larry Lauri Heinrich Saukko, past dean of Salolampi and former staff member of Waldsee, passed away last night in Duluth, Minn. He possessed immeasurable gifts of music, language, culture and culinary arts that he shared freely with all of us at Concordia Language Villages. His healthy dose of wit and humor always kept us on our toes. In essence, he was a Renaissance man…with a home-built sauna on a trailer for good measure. Larry was raised on the Iron Range, and joined Waldsee in 1970 as a member of the first-ever credit program staff. He co-led the German abroad program, was business manager of the Institute of German Studies, and later dean of the Waldsee academic year programs. He was dean of Salolampi for 26 summers from 1986 through 2011, so during the development of the Salolampi facility as it is today. Larry led the German and Finnish adult sessions for many years and finished his career with CLV as assistant food service manager, retiring four years ago. The outdoor dance pavilion at Salolampi bears his name, as this was the installation marking his 25 years on staff. The path between the tanssilava and Cabin 1, Karjala, is also called “Laurinpolku” in honor of his retirement and love of outdoor learning.

Lauri will forever remind us of the importance of keeping the language of one’s heritage alive in song, word and in spirit. Just this fall, in collaboration with Iida and others, Lauri completed the third volume of OPI (pronounced ohhpee), a compilation of definitions and explanations of Finnish words and phrases just off the press within the last week. These booklets are based on Lauri’s many articles on the same subject in the Finnish American Reporter.

Larry’s life will be celebrated this Saturday, November 17, in Eveleth, Minn., with visitation starting at Noon, a memorial service at 1 PM, followed by a luncheon.


Iida and Martin

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