Kenneth Oja, 64, of Britt, died unexpectedly Oct. 3, 2013, after playing basketball.

Kenneth Eino Oja was born in Virginia July 9, 1949, to Arnold and Bertha (Jutila) Oja. He graduated from Martin Hughes High School in Buhl in 1967, Mesabi State Community College in Virginia in 1969 and the University of Minnesota with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1972. Ken worked for many years in Texas, Louisiana and Florida as an engineer. He later worked as a letter carrier in Florida.

Ken had many and varied interests and excelled in academics, sports, woodworking and “fix-it” projects. He never forgot his friends or Finnish heritage. Ken was involved in the Knights of Kaleva in Virginia, Senior Center in Buhl and the Unitarian Church in Virginia. He enjoyed playing basketball and he played cards several times a week. Ken was a giving person, so much that he gave of himself through organ donation. He will be so deeply missed by many people.

He is survived by his brothers, Edwin (Paulette) Oja of Coon Rapids Minn., and Dale Oja of Glennallen Alaska; sisters, Kathleen Stratton of Glennallen, Alaska, and Carol (Robert) Freeman of Duluth; stepsister, Joanne (Al) Johnson of Mountain Iron; stepbrother, Matthew Scorich of Mountain Iron; special friend, Lorraine Erickson of Virginia; former wife, Giannella “Gia” Oja and stepson, Michael, both of Florida.

Ken is survived by many Finnish “sisu” cousins including the Rekonens, Muhonens, Taivals, Jutilas and Braskis. He also had several nieces and nephews, who were very special to him.


Service 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at Range Funeral Home. Visitation 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, at the funeral home and will continue one hour prior to the service Saturday. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, visit .

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