Aimo J. Sulin, 93, of West Rockport passed away peacefully Dec. 12, 2010, while in the care of the kind folks at the Glenridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Care facility in Augusta.

Mr. Sulin was born Oct. 19, 1917, in Turku, Finland, as the second son of Hulda Maria Takala and Matti Sulin. He was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Josephine, in 2007.

Aimo considered himself as probably the last of the “old country born Finns” in Knox County’s very significant Finnish community. He came to America as a young boy, along with his mother and older brother Albert, locked down in “steerage” on the RMS Mauritania (a sister ship of the Titanic). He arrived with no money, no skills, no prospects, and no English. About 15 years ago a young lady from the Ellis Island National Historic Site conducted an audio interview of him for their records and for the interactive part of their museum. He was honored to help document and represent the struggles of 1920s European immigrants. In the manner of others from “America’s Greatest Generation,” not once in the 45-minute interview does he say how tough all of that must have been. Rather, he praises the kindness of the uniformed Immigration Service staff and the doctor who treated him and his brother for diphtheria instead of rejecting the family on the spot, as was the law. In his words, “I didn’t understand a thing they were saying, but everyone was kind and helpful.” The director of the museum later called to thank Mr. Sulin and invite him to the opening of their interactive interview display. He thanked the gentleman kindly but declined the offer by saying, “I am perfectly happy to stay up here in Maine. I would probably get lost down there anyway.” Later, he was sent a tape of his interview. A Christmas card arrived for several years thereafter from the director of the museum, of which he was very proud.

Mr. Sulin lived for a short time after his arrival in the U.S. with a group of earlier Finnish immigrants in the tiny town of Gassetts, Vt., later moving to Clements Point in Warren. Despite the many deprivations of the Great Depression, Aimo had fond memories of growing up and attending school in Warren, and would relate great stories about his friends and the cast of characters that helped shape his life.

Before becoming the well-known Master Plumber, Master Electrician, Master Oil Burner Technician and skilled carpenter that most people knew him as, Mr. Sulin worked at the Warren Woolen Mill, the old Rockland Boat Shop during the era when you had to speak Finnish to work there, for the old Elgin Corporation, and at the old Snow’s Shipyard in Rockland. Because of his knowledge of operations at the Warren Woolen Mill, the Warren Historical Society once videoed him describing his work on the various pieces of machinery used and his duties on the night shift.

Mr. Sulin married Josephine Soboleski of Rockland on Oct. 5, 1940. For many years they made their home on Cedar Street in Rockland where they raised their two children. In the 1970s Mr. Sulin built, almost entirely by himself, a new home in West Rockport.

Mr. Sulin was always active in supporting his children’s activities and faithfully attended PTA meetings, scouting and sporting events. Along with his wife, he continued to attend Rockland High School basketball games long after his son had graduated.

Aimo was known as a person who would never laugh at you but would certainly laugh with you. He was a proud craftsman who believed in giving all of his customers true value for their money. He made many friends who admired his work ethic, kind manner, and skills as a craftsman.

Mr. Sulin enjoyed and respected Maine’s outdoors and was an avid fisherman and hunter, until such adventures were no longer possible for him physically. He was a member of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and a life member of the Knox County Fish & Game Association. His annual spring “the ice is out” fishing trips to Moosehead Lake gave him great enjoyment just as the April 1 opening day for open water fishing did.

In true Finnish style, for many years Aimo hosted a “Monday Night Sauna” get together for his close friends. He once claimed that his longevity may have been due to the many hours spent with good friends while “cooking” in his marvelous self-constructed sauna.

Mr. Sulin is survived by his daughter, Carol Caseber, RN and her husband, William, of Clearwater, Fla., and his grandsons, William Caseber Jr. of Coral Gables, Fla., and Wesley Caseber of Largo, Fla.; and his son, Captain David Aimo Sulin, his wife, Nan, and granddaughter, Josephine of Rockport. He was extremely proud of his family and the activities of his grandchildren brought him great joy.

Mr. Sulin’s family will be forever grateful for the kind attention and care that he received at Glenridge and for the loving care he received from Linda Bryant of P.A.L.S. During the final years of his life, he stayed with his daughter and son-in-law in Florida when his son was away at sea and thrived under their love and care.

A graveside service will be held Friday, May 13 at 11 a.m. at the Rockville Cemetery. After the service, Aimo’s family welcomes anyone who wishes to share their memories of him to stop by his home on Vinal Street in West Rockport. The family believes that in lieu of flowers Aimo would appreciate a donation in his name to any of the local animal shelters of your choice.

Arrangements are with Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland. To share a memory or condolence with Aimo’s family, visit his online guest book at obituaries at bchfh.com.