Martti H Saari passed away on August 20, 2021 at his home. He was born on February 26, 1927 to Signe Mathilda (Löf) Lehto and Herman Edvard Saari. He married Elli Marjatta Malkamäki on August 26,1951 in Lapua, Finland on her family farm with over 1000 guests. They immigrated to the US in 1956 with sons, Seppo, age 4 and Reijo, age 2. Six years later, Anita was born. They lived in Fairport Harbor and Painesville, OH for almost 40 years before moving to Lake Worth, Florida. He worked at Superior Manufacturing as a machinist before working as a brick/block layer, carpenter and painter and retired as a self-contractor. Heikki Perttu even wrote and composed a song about him, Maalari Martti (Painter Martti). He competed in many 55K cross country ski races all over the states including Colorado and New York over the years.Martti and Elli had lots “sisu” and were affectionately called the “Energizer Bunnies”. They volunteered at Zion Lutheran Church in Fairport Harbor, St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Lake Worth, FL and Suomi Talo (Finland House) in Lantana, FL and were lifetime members there. They also volunteered at St. John’s UCC in Newark, OH.
Over the years, he sang in Zion Lutheran & St. Andrew’s Lutheran church choirs, was a member of the “Stubborn Finns” singing group in Fairport and the Finnish Male Singers of Florida and performed in Finland, Canada and the U.S. He was an avid dancer and performed many times with a Finnish Tanhu (Folk dance) group and loved to dance the evenings away at the Suomi Talo. He bowled for several decades and won numerous trophies and awards. He loved watching sports and was an avid fisherman.In addition to his parents, Martti was preceded in death by his wife, Elli; his son, Seppo Saari; his sisters: Kaarina (Lauri) Nikkanen, Aili (Paavo) Mäki-Korpela, Laina Haavikko (Eero) Soininen, Lea (Pentti) Luoma and his brothers: Leo Jaakko Saari, and Raimo (Riita-Liisa) Saari all in Finland.
Martti is survived by his daughter-in law, Anna Saari; son, Reijo (Cindy) Saari; daughter, Anita (Chuck) Chirdon: granddaughters, Naomi Schukert, Danielle Chirdon; grandsons: Mike Saari, Jamin Saari, Jesse Chirdon; great-grandchildren: Rachel and Steven Schukert, Blake and Madeline Saari, Brandon & Jacen Saari, Brothers, Eero (Eva) Saari, Leo (Hilkka) Saari, and Vaino (Tuula) in Finland, and several nieces and nephews in Finland.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to: Hospice of Central Ohio, 2269 Cherry Valley Rd. Newark, OH 43055 whose team took such wonderful care of him, St. John’s UCC, 285 W. National Dr., Newark, Oh 43055, St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 928 South E Street, Lake Worth, FL 33460, Zion Lutheran Church, 508 Eagle St. Fairport Harbor, OH 44077, or to American Finnish Tourist Club, Inc., Finland House – Suomi Talo, P.O. Box 3291, Lake Worth, FL 33465.