Eino Melvin Santi, 89, passed away peacefully at the Virginia Essentia Health Hospital with his family at his side on Friday, April 16, 2021, a week after a severe stroke.
He was born on July 29, 1931, to Urho and Hannah (Juola) Santi in Clinton Township where he resided all of his life except for the two years he proudly served the United States Army in Korea.
Eino attended grade school in Cherry, where he learned to speak English in the first grade. After serving in the Korean War, he came back home to work on the farm with his father and brother Edwin and later with his children. He hauled milk from area farms to his cousins’ Wiinanen Dairy Plant from 1958 to 1979 when the dairy plant closed. Eino married Arlene Putikka (Zakula) in 1960 and built a home in Clinton Township where they raised their three children. Eino enjoyed working at the Cherry school as head custodian from 1975 to 1992. Cherry kids would always say hello to him even years after he retired. He served as a Clinton Township supervisor for many years, and organized the building of the first community building and the volunteer fire department which he also served as a firefighter for many years. Eino was a State Fire Warden for over 60 years and just a week before his stroke brought a burning permit over to one of his new neighbors.
Eino left a legacy in the way he lived his life — enjoying life by caring for people, serving his country and community, working hard, and being proud of his family, friends and Finnish heritage. He loved visiting with friends and family, listening and dancing to music, traveling to Finland and Nevada. Although he attended only 6 years of school, Eino became an avid reader in his later years, reading a variety of books, local history, and newspapers such as the Finnish Reporter.
Eino had a wonderful sense of humor even during his many visits to the hospitals and nursing homes due to accidents and surgeries. Thank you to the many health care workers that helped Eino over the years — especially the folks at Recovery Heath, the Hibbing Veterans Association and the Virginia Essentia Clinic and Hospital.
Eino was a member of Faith United Lutheran Church, the Mountain Iron American Legion, the Finnish-Americans and Friends Association, the Knights of the Kaleva and a supporter of Salolampi Finnish Language Camp.
Eino is survived by his three children, Elaine Santi, Lisa (Don) Butler, and Eric (Susan) Santi, all of Iron; grandchildren, Bobby (Amber) Butler, Julie (Ed Anderson) Butler, and Billy (Wynona Clinton) Butler; four great-grandchildren: Maija, James, Annalisa, and Johnathan, and he was excited about the twins coming in June; sister, Hilda Miller; several nieces, nephews, and many special friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Marie Carol Santi; brothers, Arnold and Edwin Santi; great-grandson, Jack Butler; and nephews, Willy Wiita and Glen Santi. What a wonderful reunion he is having with his family and friends in Jesus!
A funeral service will be held at noon Saturday, April 24, at the Faith United Lutheran Church in Iron.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, and an hour prior to the funeral at Faith United. The funeral will be live-streamed on the Faith United Lutheran Church Facebook page. The family asks that everyone respectfully wears masks while we gather together to celebrate Eino’s life.
Funeral arrangements are made through the Cron-Sheehy Funeral Home of Eveleth.