Tekla Viola “Vee” (Nelson) Aho, 87, died March 7, 2010, at the Legend Center after an illness.

She was born April 22, 1922, in Painesville, Ohio, to Hilda (Buro) and John (Sorvisto) Nelson, immigrants from the Aljarvii and Harma regions of Finland. She was one of seven children. Vee’s mother died when she was 5, and she was raised by Matti and Eliina Loija of Fairport Harbor, Ohio.

The Loijas had a daughter, Elsie. Vee and Elsie quickly became sisters and often reflected on their parents’ faith in God and quiet service to others, in their weekly telephone calls. Vee graduated from Harding High School in 1939, where she was the 1938 Homecoming Queen. She attended Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in Cleveland.

She married her “one true love,” the Rev. Raymond John Lewis Aho Nov. 7, 1942. They spent the next 52 years serving several Finnish Lutheran congregations in Toronto, Canada, New York Mills, Minn., Ely, Minn., and Fitchburg, Mass. They had five children, Daniel, John, David, Elizabeth and Ruth Ann. They also raised their twin grandsons, Michael and Brian Aho, after the untimely death of their eldest son and his wife.

Vee resumed her career and graduated from Burbank Hospital School of Nursing in 1967. She was employed by the Fitchburg Visiting Nurses Association for many years. Vee loved life and sought God’s guidance in every endeavor. She pursued her interests with exuberance and touched many lives with her gentle, kind spirit, and unswerving, open expression of faith.

She loved music and singing. She enjoyed participating in Messiah Lutheran Church activities. Vee sang in the senior choir and was honored to serve for many years as director for the Finnish Women’s Chorus. She especially loved children and as long as she was able, she served as youth counselor for Messiah’s Junior and Senior Luther Leagues and as resident nurse for summer programs held at Messiah’s Camp Pineshore in Westminster, Mass. The roles Vee cherished most were those of pastor’s wife, mother and grandparent. She modeled the values of personal daily prayer by including family devotions as part of mealtimes.

She was predeceased by her beloved spouse Nov. 23, 1994; a son, the Rev. Daniel Aho, and his wife, Rosemary, Nov. 27, 1976; a son, John Aho, Oct. 1, 1946; and a grandson, Jonathan Aho, Nov. 1, 1973.

She is survived by a sister, Elsie Nelson, of Painesville, Ohio; three children, David and his wife, Naomi Aho, of Warren, Maine, Elizabeth and her husband, Robert Green, of Oregon and Ruth Ann and her husband, Kenneth LeBlanc, of New Hampshire; six grandchildren, Wendy and her husband, Adam Sands, of Massachusetts, Michael and Brian Aho of California, Jeremy and his wife, Stacia Aho, of Virginia, Julie and her husband, Kris Schumann, and Katherine and her husband, Gerry Bassett, of Warren, Maine; six great-grandchildren, Amber and her husband, Joseph Gilbert, of Pennsylvania, Thomas Sands of New York, Noelle Sands of Massachusetts, Annika Aho of Virginia, Kristian and Jennika Aho of Warren, Maine; and many extended family members and friends.

Vee resided at Legend Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (formerly Leo LaChance) in Gardner, Mass., for the past five years, where she made many friends and touched many lives with her deep and abiding faith. She was well known for her laughter, singing and participation in almost any activity and her genuine love of staff and residents alike.

Her faith provided her with the grace to bring joy, levity and hope to everyone who was blessed to touch her life. Friends are invited to read Psalm 23 and John 3:16, two of her favorite passages from the Bible, which was the source of her strength, hope and joy, and the message she actively shared and lived throughout her life.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Messiah Lutheran Church, 750 Rindge Rd., Fitchburg, MA 01420.

Calling hours were at Smith Mallahy Masciarelli Funeral Home on March 10. The funeral was held March 11 at Messiah Lutheran Church, Fitchburg.