Gloucester, MA — Hilda S. (Ross) Kaihlanen, 93, wife of the late Lauri J. Kaihlanen, of Lanesville, passed away from this life on Saturday, October 19, 2013, at the Seacoast Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
She was born on October 22, 1919, in Folly Cove, Gloucester, the daughter of Lydia (Runsala) Ross and Henry Ross.
Hilda was a well-known artist for most of her life, creating colorful paintings of local scenes. She also created many paintings using her imagination. They were loved by many who had collections of her painting worldwide. She had been a charter member of the Folly Cove Designers, a member of the North Shore Art Association, the Newburyport Art Association and the Copley Society of Boston. She also designed the cover of the book, “The Night of The Hurricane” by Nancy Hale of Folly Cove. She loved creating Christmas cards for Kristin Elliot for many years. Hilda also wrote a book titled, “A Finnish Christmas” with illustrations that were typically "Hilda."
Hilda and her son, Lauri, have a gallery on Bearskin Neck in Rockport – the Kaihlanen Gallery. She spent many years tending the gallery and making new friends each day.
Her husband, Lauri, and Hilda were a great team. Hilda painted and Lauri matted and framed her paintings. She was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church and was very proud of her Finnish-American heritage. She enjoyed lively discussions at the Lanesville Community Center about Lanesville history, usually stealing the show with her entertaining comments. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Hilda is survived by her son, Lauri R. Kaihlanen and his wife, Anne, of Rockport; a daughter, Dona J. Shea and her husband, Paul M. “Pete” Shea Jr., of Gloucester. She also leaves her grandchildren, Heather Colbert of Newton, N.H., Heidi Kelleher of Newburyport, Jaime Harnish of Amherst, N.H., and Jesse Kaihlanen of Annandale, Va.; and 12 great-grandchildren. She also leaves special friends, Judy Bogage of Rockport, Deborah Coull of Gloucester, and Margie Belcher of Inverness, Fla.