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Katri Hilja Juliana (Julie) Lahti, born as Katri Hilja Juliana Harju, peacefully passed away on August 16, 2023, at the age of 91. She transitioned in the early morning hours at the Espanola Nursing Home, where she had been residing since 2020. Surrounded by her loved ones, Julie’s departure was marked by the sighting of a shooting star.

Born in Beaver Lake, Ontario on October 3, 1931, Julie was the daughter of Urho and Aune Harju (nee Tapper). She had two brothers, Fred (Greta) and Henry (Joanna). In 1949, she married Leo Luopa, with whom she had five children: James (Sandra), Beth (Geoff MacQueen), Richard (Gail), Robert (Leena), and Ronald (Eileen). Together with Leo, Julie owned and operated an ESSO service station for many years in Beaver Lake, next to her parents’ home.

Julie was known for her culinary skills, excelling in both cooking and baking. She had a magical ability to create delicious meals using whatever ingredients were at hand. Additionally, she had a green thumb and maintained a garden, incorporating fresh fruits and berries into her creative dishes. Visitors were always greeted with warm coffee and freshly baked delicacies, including everyone’s favorite, Finnish pulla.

Julie had a passion for dancing, and it was through dance that she met Eugene Lahti, her future husband. They shared a love for dancing, which blossomed into a romance and eventually led to their marriage in 1991. Julie’s family expanded to include Eugene’s children, Carl, Sharon, and Brenda, as well as their daughters Kara and Karleen.

Julie and Eugene turned their home on the Vermilion River into a tranquil paradise. They both had a love for gardening, and their flower beds became a sight to behold. While they also enjoyed traveling, including a trip to Finland, their favorite moments were spent at home, surrounded by family and friends.

Julie’s positive and cheerful nature, along with her warm smile, touched the hearts of everyone she encountered. The staff at the Espanola Nursing Home grew fond of her and provided her with loving care. She will be deeply missed by her friends, family, numerous nieces and nephews, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Julie’s life will take place on Saturday, September 2, 2023, at the Beaver Lake Sports & Cultural Club from 1 to 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor can be made to the Beaver Lake Sports & Cultural Club or the Espanola Nursing Home (Long Term Care). Bourcier Funeral Home Ltd, Espanola, is handling the arrangements.

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