In Memory

Marja-Liisa Kankkunen

  Post Comment

10/09/08 06:24 PM #1    

Kathy Kerr (Kroll)

I don't know if anyone else knows the circumstances surrounding Marja-Liisa's death, so I thought I'd update those who remember her and are interested.

Marja-Liisa was an exchange student from Finland at OHHS for the first half of our senior year, and she and I were good friends. She moved away to live with a different family in another city after the first semester.

Marja-Liisa and I stayed in touch after graduation, and I was blessed to visit her in her home and attend school with her one day in Finland in August of 1979. We remained pen pals until her death in 1995.

Although Marja-Liisa never married, she had moved to Sweden and had been living there with her partner for several years. It was while she was living there that I received a note from her boyfriend in response to a Christmas card that I had sent her, informing me of her sudden death. Apparently, she was pregnant with their second child, and had contracted a "super-bug" for which the doctors were unable to find any treatment. It was a fluke of medicine, and tragically caused both her death and that of her unborn child.

Marja-Liisa was raised by her mother alone, who was a doctor, and had no siblings, so I'm sure her death was a devastating blow. My prayers go out to her mother, partner, and small son.

**Kathy Kerr (Kroll)

  Post Comment