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Niilo Koponen 1928-2013 — 4 Comments

  1. I rented my first horse ( black mare) from Nilo and Joan in the early 50’s. I kept her in town; was the only horse right in FBKS. Rode her like some kids use bicycle , downtown, tied her to park meters and she mowed many lawns around Gafney and airport rd. Left a boost to many elderly ladies rose gardens , fair trade off! Wonderful man and love the both them !

  2. Yes Niilo and Joan were I big part of my life on Chena ridge each Sunday my triplets sons Erik Sean & Josh would enjoy sauna with tea popcorn and the crowd… thanks for sharing to the Koponen family

  3. While I was a Smokejumper in Fairbanks during the 1970’s, I was lucky enough to be invited to and meet Niilo and Joan Koponen at their Chena Ridge homestead at some of their Saturday night sauna parties. My first introduction to the “Danish Plunge” after a good sweat in the wood-fired sauna. Great conversations and discussions with the Koponen’s and others who were in attendance. What a great family. Niilo’s life may have finally gone “Onward!” beyond us mortals, but his legacy will remain in Fairbanks and Alaska forever, and something for the Koponen family to forever be proud of.

  4. HI All –
    I knew Joan and Niilo in a variety of capacities – as a tenant on their homestead (and a renter of their cabin on Sprucewood Drive) as a member of several civic organizations, and as a friend. I remember with fondness many Sunday nights, enjoying Niilo’s stories while sitting in the sauna, and relaxing with a cup of tea afterwords. Niilo the world is truly a darker place without you – you will be missed.

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