ELMER M. AHO Obituary | Canale Tonella Funeral Home & Cremation Services


Nov 13, 1931 - Feb 20, 2022


November 13, 1931 - February 20, 2022


Elmer M. Aho passed away peacefully at his longtime Gwinn home on Sunday, February 20, 2022 at age 90 with his loving family by his side.

Mr. Aho was born to Finnish immigrants, John & Anna (Kalliola) Aho on the Trenary, MI family farm on November 13, 1931. He was one of 9 children, whom were all very close, and proud of their 100 percent Finnish heritage. Elmer kept in contact with relatives in Finland throughout his life with letters, phone calls, and his own drawn Christmas cards.

Elmer graduated from Trenary High School in 1949 and was drafted into the United States Army in 1950. He did his basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and was shipped to the Korean War shortly after. Elmer was assigned to the US Army Artillery HQS 235th F.A. Observation Battalion. For his tour in Korea, he was awarded the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean War Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Elmer was honorably discharged from the Army in 1952 and was a lifelong member of the Gwinn VFW Post 5676,

Elmer married Rita (Lancour) of Osier, Michigan on July 3, 1955. He enrolled in Northern Michigan University and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree and then a Master's degree in Education in 1960. Elmer's first teaching assignment was in the Oconto, Wisconsin school system before moving onto the Gwinn Schools. He began teaching Art at Gilbert Elementary and Gwinn High School until his retirement in 1986.

In 1988, Elmer continued his lifelong pursuit of music and songwriting. Summer breaks from school were often trips to Nashville, TN to get his songs to publishers on 16th Avenue. Elmer went on to start a second career at WJPD and WFXD radio stations where he would become a fixture on Saturday nights for country music fans. He worked on the radio for 30 years and 18 of those with his close friend and coworker, Eric Tasson. Elmer had a vast knowledge of music and would often play a son for folks out "in the suburbs as well". Elmer was thrilled when his Saturday night show was live streamed and family and friends in Finland could listen.

Elmer was very proud to be able to serve the veterans at the Michigan Veterans Home D.J. Jacobetti in Marquette. Once a week for many years he would meet with veterans to talk and read Finnish language with them and other topics.

Elmer is survived by his wife of 66 years, Rita of Gwinn; sister, Arlene (Aho) Finlan of Green Bay, WI; four children, Robin (Aho) Brady of Cheyenne, WY, Swen (Janet) Aho of Gwinn, Heidi (Robert) Case of Plover, WI and Jon (Robin) Aho of Gwinn; seven grandchildren, Joshua Brady, Kyle (Autumn) Aho, Katie Aho, Jared Case, Jenna (Travis) Moede, Luke Aho and Seth Aho; three great-grandchildren, Vincent Aho, Isaac and Matthew Moede; and many nieces, nephews & cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, John & Anna Aho; brothers, William, Arvid, Carlo, Donald and Marvin; sisters, Vivian Dunn and Signe Cady; special son-in-law, Bruce Brady of Cheyenne, WY.

A private family funeral will be held in the spring.

Canale-Gwinn Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the family. Notes of sympathy may be directed to Rita Aho, Canale-Gwinn Funeral Home and Cremation Services, PO Box 1176, Gwinn, MI 49841.

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Tue, Jun 28, 2022 at 11:00 am
Trenary Cemetery

Eben Trenary Road
Trenary, MI 49891

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