Anja I. (Savilaakso) Sihvonen

Born: Sun., Sep. 18, 1932
Died: Mon., May 10, 2021

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Anja Inkeri Sihvonen, 88, of Lisbon, died peacefully on Monday, May 10, at her home of nearly 60 years. She was born in Oulu, Finland, on September 18, 1932, to Aarne V. and Aili (Pasanen) Savilaakso. She was predeceased by her husband, Olavi Norman Sihvonen; her beloved son, Leo W. Sihvonen; both of her parents; and her brother Tapsu Savilaakso. She is survived by her daughters Maira Fowler of Lisbon, Tina Wells and husband Greig of Baltic, and Lisa Sihvonen-Binder and husband Paul of Goshen, MA; her adored grandsons and granddaughters Holt, Wyatt and Lucas Sihvonen, Thomas and Olivia Fowler, and Alyson Wells; several nieces and nephews; and her steadfast canine companion, Clooney, whom she treasured.

Anja grew up in Finland, moving to Argentina in 1951. There she met Olavi, marrying him on March 16, 1962, in Ramallo, Argentina. They moved to the U.S. shortly thereafter, settling in Lisbon.

Anja spoke Finnish, English and Spanish fluently. She was a woman with enormous Finnish Sisu. She was a breast cancer survivor and continuously overcame the challenges associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

She delighted each afternoon in a hot cup of strong coffee with cream and two lumps of sugar on the side. She loved watching birds, among her favorites the Cardinal and hummingbird. She was an avid gardener, spending countless hours caring for perennial and annual beds, hanging plants and window boxes.

Anja will be cremated and interred in Pachaug Cemetery next to her husband. Burial will be private at the family’s convenience. In lieu of flowers, Anja requested donations be made to Disabled War Veterans Association of Finland (  The Gagne Piechowski Funeral Home 490 Voluntown Road Jewett City, CT has been entrusted with the private arrangements.  For online condolences please go to

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