1924 – 2021
Brooklyn – Thure M. Oja, 97, passed away at Day Kimball Hospital on October 6, 2021. He was the beloved husband of Irja (Kiviniemi) Oja to whom he was married for 77 years. Thure was born in Whiting, IN on June 29, 1924 but spent his teenage years in Finland, his parent’s home country. Upon his marriage to Irja, he returned to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, CT, but Finland was always in his heart. During his early years, he owned a poultry farm, built houses, and bought real estate. He had great work ethics and drive and eventually built his first Motor Inn, The Starlight Motor Inn and Restaurant in Niantic, CT followed by the Seaport Motor Inn and Jamm’s Restaurant in Mystic, CT and the Sturbridge Coach Motor Lodge in Sturbridge, MA.
Thure loved dancing, sailing his sunfish on Lake Alexander, sailing or motorboating in Noank, CT where he had a second home on the waterfront. He especially loved vacationing in Florida at his condominium or traveling to Finland and Scandinavia.
Thure cherished his family above all else. He was a devoted and generous Dad and he will be dearly missed by his loving wife, Irja, who was always by his side and his daughters, Sheila Dillon (Tom) of Mystic, CT, Tuula Burell of Mansfield, CT and her son, David Mathieu (Lori) and children Katie and David, Jr.; Irene Reidemeister (Carl) and their children Pamela Guari (John) and their children Haley Tiffany, Matthew Tiffany, Jack Guari and Madeline Guari; Jim Tourtellotte (Kelly) and their children Lydia and Alison; Carl C. Reidemeister (Kathy) and their children, Kristy Varsen (Matthew) and Kevin Reidemeister (Cailey) and Eric Reidemeister (Eugenia) of Boynton Beach, FL and their children Marisa and Ryan. He is also survived by his sister, Toini Chabot and her children Diane Lynch, Deborah Crook (Alan), Denise Chabot and Darcy Dema (John) and his sister in-law, Reeta Oja and her children, Aarne and Maria and their families. He was predeceased by his parents, Matti and Anna Oja and by his brothers, Aarne, Edward, and Rudolph.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Thure’s family from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, October 15, 2021, in the Valade Funeral Home and Crematory, 23 Main St., N. Grosvenordale. A Funeral Service will take place at 12:00 p.m. in the Emanual Lutheran Church, 83 Main St, Thompson, CT with burial to follow in Westfield Cemetery, Danielson, CT. In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Thure’s memory may be made to either Emanual Lutheran Church, 83 Main St. North Grosvenordale, CT 06255 or the Finnish American Historical Society, 76 North Canterbury Rd., Canterbury, CT 0633. For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.