1936 – 2015

LEWISTON — Milton Ahonen, warrior, craftsman and marshmallow, passed away on Feb. 24 after a courageous battle with a long illness. He will be sorely missed by anyone who has had the privilege of simply meeting him.

He was a complex man but not complicated. He was kind but strong, humble but dignified, generous but frugal, and intelligent — but he spoke to people as a layman and made them feel at ease. He was raised “old school” and he lived it and practiced it daily with honor and dignity, as a proud Finnish-American.

He was married to the love of his life, Hope I. Sutherland (Bucksport), for 48 years and was her sole caregiver, refusing any help when she fell ill during her last few years and until her passing. His love and devotion were awe-inspiring to “watchers on,” but to him, it was simply what should be done.

He was a Vietnam veteran and was extremely proud of his long career in the U.S. Air Force, where he achieved the rank of master sergeant (about the highest rank you can achieve and still be “hands on.”) After retiring from the military, he became a machinist, where his craftiness and good hands allowed him to excel until he retired.

He was a master tinkerer and could build/fix anything, so when something broke, he modified or improved it so that it worked better than when new.

The world is a sadder place, and his country less great without him. He will be missed by all.

Milton is survived by many siblings (he was one of eight) and their families; his two children and their spouses; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild; as well as many friends.

“Poppy, you are the best of all good things — you are our hero.”

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