Lempi Broomhall

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RUMFORD – Lempi Mildred “(Torkko) Broomhall, 82, of Rumford, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and sister, died Monday, May 8, at her home on 421 Blanchard St. after a long illness.

She was born on April 21, 1924, in Ashland, Wis., the daughter of Julia (Leitonen) and Emmanuel Torkko. There was a large community of Finnish immigrants in Ashland and she was always proud of her strong Finnish heritage. Last summer she was able to attend a Torkko family reunion that was held at her daughter’s summer home on Long Lake in Naples.

She graduated from Ondossagon High School in Ashland in 1942. In 1943, she graduated from Wausau, Wis. It was in Wausau that she met her husband of 60 years, Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall. Chummy was a member of the 10th Mountain Division in Wisconsin training ski troops when he met her at a dance club. She loved to dance and Chummy had to learn to keep up with her. Their romance took place largely through two years of letter writing while Chummy was in Europe during World War II. Upon his return in October 1945, he went back to Wisconsin and they were married on Nov. 17, 1945.

She worked as a secretary in Milwaukee and then for the United Mine Workers Union after her marriage. For more than 20 years, she worked at the Sears Roebuck Catalog Store on Congress Street until her retirement in 1984. She loved working with the public and she was known for her openness and fun-loving spirit.

She was an active member of the Chisholm Ski Club along with her husband until her health prevented her from volunteering. She was a volunteer worker at the 1960 and 1980 Olympics when her husband was chief of race and chief of course for those events. She was her husband’s biggest cheerleader and supported him in all his ski related endeavors. For many years she was his “in-house” secretary, typing letters and taking care of all his ski related activities

For many years she traveled to Lewiston with friends to participate in a women’s ten-pin bowling league. She loved playing cards and she was a skilled Scrabble player. She took knitting and upholstery classes, loved working in her flower beds, and most of all, baking for her family. She was famous for her homemade cookies and whoopie pies.

The door to the Broomhall family home was always open and she was always there to welcome whomever came through the door. She gave advice even when it wasn’t wanted, but it was always with love in her heart. She was a “mother” to many young community members.

She adored her six grandchildren and was an amazing grandmother. She played with them, attended their sporting and school events, and baked those cookies/whoopie pies whenever they were around. She enjoyed their company and they loved being with her.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 60 years, Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall of Rumford; her children, Wendy Carey and her husband, Dennis, of Chicago, Ill., Vicki Amoroso and her fianc, Richard Redmond, of Rumford and Scott Broomhall and his wife, Jo-Ann, of Rumford; six grandchildren, Reagan Carey of Atlanta, Ga., Ryan Carey of Chicago, Ill., Shane Amoroso of Peru, Rory Amoroso of Rumford, Heidi Broomhall of Auburn and Andrew Broomhall of Rumford; one brother, Edward Torkko, of Ashland, Wis.; and one sister, Doris Wiggins, of Dallas, Texas.

She was predeceased by three brothers, Toivo Torkko, Anthony Torkko, and Melvin Torkko; two sisters, Lillian Torkko, and her dearest sister and friend, Aune “Lonnie” Torkko.

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