Lauri Juha Kola
- Date Of Birth: August 17, 1945
- Date Of Death: November 25, 2016
- State: Montana
Lauri Kola died on November 25, 2016 at KRMC following a brief, fierce battle with pneumonia, which was preceded by a diagnosis of prostate cancer on November 2, leaving a grieving family behind but grateful for having had an opportunity to say final good-byes.
He was born in Heinola, Finland on August 17, 1945 to his Finnish-American mother, Helmi, and his father, Olavi, the 5th of 6 children. They moved to the U.S in 1950. Lauri lost his mother at a young age. He grew up in New England and, despite some hard times, retained fond memories of the years spent in Enfield, NH. He attended high school in Enfield but graduated his senior year at Northwood Prep school in Lake Placid, NY in 1963. He joined the Navy and was honorably discharged 4 years later. While in the Navy he spent some leave time at Alta, Utah skiing with his brother, Ike. He fell in love with the west. Following his stint in the military and a semester in college in Rhode Island, he headed west again and met his future wife, Susan Copenhaver, again at Alta, and spent the next 3 winters enjoying the ski-bum lifestyle while traveling in the summers.
He loved his family. He was intelligent and reliable, a good cook, proud of his Finnish heritage, enjoyed reading, loved musicals, a poor singer who nevertheless enjoyed singing, reveled in making the kids’ sweethearts sweat blood, often embarrassed the family in social situations, espoused a looney ‘zap theory’ regarding human life on earth with no basis whatsoever to support it, and was obstinately sedentary in his retirement years. Those who could handle him were endeared to him; he knew how to forgive and never held grudges. We would give much to have him back.
Lauri is preceded in death by his mother and father as well as his brother, Ike. He leaves behind his wife Susan, sons Max Kola of Missoula, Joe Kola of Jackson, WY with his wife, Tracy, (“M.Y.O.B. Lauri!”) and twin grandsons, Caden and Jack, daughter Jill Jacobson with her husband Brandon of Whitefish, 4 siblings – Imppa, Irene, Vaino, and Peter – and many nieces and nephews.