Monday, May 18, 2009

Send love, and good health his way

My father in law is going into the hospital monday May 18th, 2009 for removal of a small cancerous growth. The doctors expect an easy operation and good recovery. His operation is Tuesday morning and I would like to ask you to take this moment to send him love and good health and strength to help him get through this challenge.

As a thank you for sending him love and good health I want to share the email that he sent me today. The email touched me. He sent me a text he wrote following an article with specific questions which he received from a friend. He wants this text to be used for his obituary. After reading it I called Lee and told him that I was touched and that I love him. I also told him that I believe he will recover from the operation, and that I want to use his text not as an obituary but as a blog article that shows him where he is right now. I hope that the future will bring many updates on the text he emailed me:

Lee Tuomenoksa

Lee was born in Helsinki (1928). He served in the Finnish army at age of 15. He then completed high school in Finland and immigrated to United States in 1947, not being able to speak English. (In high school they taught him German, Swedish and Russian). He graduated from WPI, MIT and Columbia. He married Betty Logan (a SC girl) in 1955 and has three children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren (so far). He worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories for 35 years and eventually became vice president and officer of the old ATT. He currently resides at Richmond Place, a retirement community in Lexington, Kentucky.

And the rest: Was a bridge and chess player (hates to loose). Hobbies now include photography, reading, computers and traveling with a friend.

Favorite Food: Lobster. His favorite desert is Tiramisu. Specially when made himself.

Most recent Discovery: That I'm 80 and not yet dead.

Always in your fridge: Cheese

What sort of garden you fantasize about: Rose garden. I had 350 T roses (not now).

Obsession: Staying alive until I am dead.

Center stage or watching from the wings: Center stage but only when I think can contribute.

Great escape: Kawaii

What are you most proud of?: my family, every one of them. Getting to be a VP in AT&T, First selling the idea and then directing the development of the first digital switching system on time exceeding it objectives, being part of getting ORB started; becoming a fellow of IEEE and being a recovering alcoholic. Being a Finnish National. These are blessings, not really something to be proud of.

At age seven what did you want to be?: Electrical Engineer.

The favorite trend of all time: Patience, understanding and wisdom. (So I hope)

Last supper: Does not matter. But if I had to choose it would be at James Beard House in NYC, or better still, a fish camp in SC.

If you were an inventor what would you like to invent: Understanding how brain controls the body.

Most treasured possession: None

What antique or piece of art you would like to pocess?: Antiques: none; art: Mona Lisa.

I have wanted to learn?: Lately it has been to know God.

What moments in your life you wish would last forever: Marriage to Betty (Betty passed away after 46 years of marriage in 2001); Relationship to Bridget (from 2003)

Something that has been in your mind lately: My family; that I been blessed much and have much to be thankful for.

Sunrise or Sunset or Sunrise: Sunrise, walking on a fallow beach with a friend.


  1. Iris: Wow, what an amazing person he seems to be. He's what I would call the salt of the earth - the kind of solid, hardworking, honest people that make the world go round.

    Please let him know that I wish him the very best, and that the world has a lot to learn from him, and a lot more to show him!

  2. Hey Iris, I really loved reading this about Lee (dad). How great that you decided to post this and share it. How great that Lee agreed to let you. Really wonderful.

  3. my father-in-law, also born in Finland, also fought the long wars against Russia, and Germans. My x was 'programmed' as a child to hide from men, because when soldiers approached their farm it was to do them harm. She was to hide under bed, or wherever, and not even breathe, while Mother put on a front of hospitality etc.

    He never learned English, but was a good worker, managing on a farm setting/wood lot, etc.
    Lee sure is a fine example of making useful constructive choices. Larry


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