Jon Oscar Pakenen, 77, of Naselle, passed away peacefully at his home on the 8th of May, 2023.
Jon was born on April 7, 1946, to Eino Pakenen and Gertrude (Timonen) Pakenen in Astoria, Oregon. He was a lifelong resident of Naselle, WA- a community that he loved. He was the great- grandson of the first Finnish settlers of Naselle, Jacob and Katariina Pakanen.
He graduated from Naselle High School in 1964 as a proud Comet. He was drafted in 1967 by the Army and served in South Korea as part of the Military Police. When he came back home, he worked for Weyerhauser as a log truck driver. In 1983, he proudly took a job at the Naselle Youth Camp. During that time, he finished his degree in Criminal Justice at Clatsop Community College.
In 1974, Jon met Norilyn French, the love of his life, and they wed in 1975. They have three children: Travis, Crystal, and Kellyn. He was a devoted father, son, and husband who loved with his whole heart.
After retiring in 2008, Jon spent his time with his kids and ten grandchildren who he loved dearly, playing many games of cribbage, and traveling to his favorite spot, Maui. He loved cheering on his kids and then his grandkids at their many events and hosting family for special gatherings. Jon had a quick wit and loved to laugh. He served his community in various ways, including many years of groundskeeping at the Peaceful Hill Cemetery and continuing the tradition his father, Eino Pakenen, started in 1942 of ringing in the New Year with the church bell at the Naselle Lutheran Church.
Jon is survived by his devoted wife, Norilyn; his children and their spouses, Travis and Michelle Pakenen, Crystal and Luke Gardner, and Kellyn and Caleb Hazen. He has ten grandchildren who brought him joy: Jacob Pakenen, Jason Gardner, Kyle Pakenen, Eli Gardner, Aila Hazen, Kaisa Pakenen, Paul Gardner, Eden Hazen, Nikola Pakenen, and Sawyer Hazen. He is survived by his two sisters, Kathleen Morris and Geraldine Johnson and preceded in death by his brother Gene Pakenen and his parents.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, May 29th at 3:00 p.m. at the Naselle Lutheran Church, reception to follow at the Naselle Community Center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Jacob and Katariina Pakanen scholarship fund.