1944 – 2021
Woodstock – Mauno Antero Petajasoja (Oja) On January 12, 2021, Mauno Antero Petajasoja, loving husband of Paula C. Petajasoja (Cozzens) for fifty-six years, passed away while at Day Kimball Hospital. Mauno lived well! Although he was diagnosed with cancer, he continued working on his projects and reinventing machinery until he no longer could. Mauno’s bravery and determination are remembered by all.
Born on October 5, 1944, in Pyhajoki, Finland, Mauno’s father (Johan Alfred Petajasoja) and mother (Sylvia [Puistolahti] Petajasoja) emigrated to the United States of America in 1949 by way of ship, The Gripsholm. Once in America, the family settled on Cherry Hill Road in Pomfet, Connecticut and established a large chicken farm. Even as a young boy, Mauno worked on the farm with his parents and siblings.
Mauno attended Pomfret Community School and matriculated to Putnam High School graduating as Salutatorian in 1962. Mauno briefly attended the University of Connecticut until 1963 when he began his forty year career as a supervisor in manufacturing. In the early years of his career he also “moonlighted” at Rovero’s Service Station in Putnam, CT. He must have enjoyed working with his colleagues at Rovero’s as his part-time moonlighting position lasted for 20 years. (Remember the “Finn”?) Rarely sitting still, Mauno continued to keep busy after his official retirement from manufacturing as he accepted a part-time position with New England Laborer’s Training Academy in Pomfret, CT. Mauno loved working with and repairing every different type of engine. He had the skill and intellect to assess any mechanical situation and find a resolution. His wife and daughters were especially appreciative of his ability to fix vehicles, air conditioners, generators, washer, dryers – no machine was a match for Mauno’s capabilities.
In 1964, Mauno married his high school sweetheart, Paula Christine Cozzens. Although Mauno was known by the surname Oja in high school, when he married Paula they agreed to use the entire last name of Petajasoja thereby honoring Mauno’s Finnish heritage.
Although Mauno was certainly a jack of all trades, the role he mastered was that of Father. He valued spending time with his children, often taking them on Sunday drives throughout New England. The Petajasojas always spent part of the summer taking a family vacation which more often than not involved camping. The family would often reminisce about the summer camping trips as there was much humor involved. Mauno loved to camp. Later in life he and Paula continued sharing that love at their “vacation home” campsite in Vermont. The two would spend many weekends and long weeks in October enjoying the natural peace and solitude afforded by the Vermont mountains.
Besides his wife Paula, Mauno is survived and remembered lovingly by his sister, Lisa Liiamaa, of Brattleboro, VT; his two daughters and their spouses, namely, Tracy (Petajasoja) Scala and Scot Scala of Avon, CT as well as Nancy E. (Petajasoja) Fraser and Mark. R. Brouillard of Woodstock CT; his very special niece otherwise entitled his third daughter, Amber L. Ewing of Putnam, CT; his loving grandchildren who were his pride and joy, Ryan Scala and Evan Scala of Avon, CT and Campbell E. Fraser of Woodstock, CT. Mauno also leaves three nephews (John Majonen-married to Elly Majonen; John Liiamaa, and Jonathan Liiamaa) and two great-nieces as well as many cousins in CT, FL and Finland. Mauno’s parents, elder brother, and nephew predeceased him.
Mauno was a good, honest, industrious man. He kept kindness in his soul and loved his family and friends. He embodied acceptance as he befriended others based upon their good nature, character and spirit. His dry wit, intellect and thoughtful words will be dearly missed by all who loved him. Mauno left an indelible mark on the hearts of his family and will be cherished and remembered always as the remarkable human being he was.
As of now, there will not be any service. At some point in the future Mauno’s family will host a Celebration of Life remembering Mauno and enjoying the memories of his friends and family. Should you wish to honor Mauno, please do so by donating to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or to the local food bank/pantry.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT 06260. For memorial guestbook please visit www. GilmanAndValade.com.