The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


April 30, 2012

Harold W. Latva

MILLCREEK, Pa. — Harold W. Latva, age 90, of Lake Worth, Fla. and formerly of Conneaut, Ohio, died Friday, April 27, 2012, at his great-niece’s home, Lindsay C. (Jesse) Madsen in Millcreek, Pa., following a short illness with cancer.  

Born Nov. 1, 1921, in Topaz, Mich., the son of Jacob and Amanda, he grew up in Topaz as a farm boy and later worked in logging camps.

After moving to Conneaut, he worked at The Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Company, sailed on the Great Lakes with the F.C. Russell Company, Shenango Furnace Company and International Harvester Company as a fireman, water tender and ordinary seaman.

Harold served in the U.S. Army from 1944 through 1946, in the Philippines and Okinawa with the 383rd Regiment of the 96th Infantry Division for 19 months as a heavy mortar crewman. He received the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with two Bronze Battle Stars, the Victory Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.

He spoke fluent Finn and was a beachgoer. He enjoyed swimming daily in the Atlantic Ocean, up until several years ago, with his sweetheart, Bertha. He loved his home-grown mango and orange fruit trees in his backyard as well as his cactus tree and aloe plant. He was a “stubborn Finn” in the truest sense of the word and known lovingly by his family as “Dr. Harold” for his avid reading of health books and preaching of healthy-eating habits. The Finnish word “Sisu” (meaning perseverance) is held dearly with his family and friends who knew him.  

Survivors include his niece, Linda L. Latva of Millcreek, Pa.; his nephew, Larry L. (Debi) Latva of Conneaut, Ohio; his great-nieces, Lindsay C. (Jesse) Madsen; great-niece, Amanda E. Latva of Conneaut; great-nephew, Jarrod T. Latva of Conneaut; and great-great-nephews, Jacob L. Madsen and Connor E. Madsen, both of Millcreek. Harold is also survived by an aunt in Lima, Ohio and cousins in Lima, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota. He is also survived by Bertha Aronen of Lake Worth, Fla., his long-time love and faithful companion, who lovingly cooked and served elegant and delicious home-made meals for him.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a step-mother Jennie; his brother, Reino John “Shorty” Latva; sister-in-law, Betty Lou Latva; and a niece, JoAnn M. Todd.

Calling Hours will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 2nd, at MARCY FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION CENTER, 208 Liberty St., Conneaut, followed by a Memorial Service at 6:30 p.m., with Dennis Chludzinski, chaplain of Hospice of Lakeland, officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Lakeland, Erie, Pa. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Obituary and condolences at and


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