Risto Conrad Salomaa, age 87, passed away on Monday, March 22, 2021 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Norwood, Massachusetts on June 29, 1933, he was the son of the late Sulo E. and Anna F. (Maki) Salomaa. He was raised on Fisher Street in Walpole, where at a young age, Risto found his love for football. He took his football skills with him to Walpole High School, earning the name "Moose”, before graduating with the Class of 1951. Following his graduation, Risto worked various jobs before being drafted into the United States Army in May of 1953. He proudly served his country for two years during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in May of 1955, having achieved the rank of corporal.
Risto married his beloved wife, Vivian G. Plimpton, at the United Church in Walpole, on June 14, 1959. Together they made their home in Medfield, Massachusetts, where the couple welcomed three children, William, Gayle, and Leanne. As a young father, Risto saw the need to better his own education, enrolling in Northeastern University and taking classes to earn his associate in engineering degree. With his new degree in hand, Risto took a position with Bird Machine in South Walpole, working as a mechanical engineer and draftsman. His career led him to Polaroid in Waltham but following their closure, he returned to Bird Machine until his retirement in 1995. Following retirement, Wentworth Institute of Technology bestowed the honorary degree of Bachelor of Technology upon Risto.
Throughout his life, Risto loved playing and watching hockey. In the 1950s and 1960s, he looked forward to meeting friends in area leagues and regularly laced up his skates to enjoy the frozen Kingsbury Pond in Medfield. When he wasn't skating, Risto enjoyed bowling with his friends in various leagues. He started out at Petracca's Lanes in Walpole before joining leagues at Ficco's in Franklin, and most recently at Ryan's in Millis, and the Norwood Sports Center, where he bowled each week up until last month. Back at home, Risto was incredible at caring for his house and yard. Risto also applied his hard work to his summer home in Marshfield, creating an inviting environment for family and friends to enjoy Summer gatherings. At both homes, “Moose” was well known to his neighbors, always taking the time to catch up.
More than anything, Risto was a dedicated family man, who always put his wife, children, and grandchildren first. As a young man, Risto loved hooking his camper up to the back of his Chevy and touring the country with his family. In the winter months, Risto passed on his love for the ice to his children, teaching them to skate on the area ponds. He was absolutely delighted at the birth of his grandchildren and was sure to be at all of their events over the years. Risto and Vivian always hosted the family holidays, whether at their Medfield home or their Marshfield home in the summer months. It was in these moments that he was most happy, surrounded by all those he loved so dearly.
Beloved husband of Vivian G. (Plimpton) Salomaa.
Loving father of William C. Salomaa and his wife, Joanne, of Chelmsford, Gayle V. Salomaa of Littleton, and Leanne S. Floyd and her husband, Stephen, of Brentwood, New Hampshire.
Cherished grandfather of Timothy Salomaa, Elizabeth Salomaa, David Salomaa, Ashley Floyd, Connor Floyd and two great grandchildren.
Brother of the late Aila Salomaa and the late Elvi Salomaa.
Also survived by his two beloved dogs, Macie and Daisy.
As a result of the ongoing and ever-developing health crisis in the world and with genuine concern for the people whom they love, Risto's family has decided that his funeral services will be private, with interment taking place in Maple Grove Cemetery in Walpole. A Celebration of Risto's life will be held at a later date, when all can gather without restrictions.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to American Cancer Society, 3 Speen Street, Framingham, MA 01701.
Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.
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