EDWIN OLIVER LIUKKO Memorial services for longtime Cortez resident Edwin Oliver Liukko will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27 at the Evangel Assembly of God Church. Inurnment will follow at Cortez Cemetery with military honors provided by the Ute Mountain American Legion Post #75. Edwin Oliver Liukko was born in Newport, New Hampshire on February 19, 1927. He departed for Heaven from his home in Cortez, Colorado while surrounded by his loving family on the morning of July 23, 2016. He was 89 years old. Ed grew up in New Hampshire with his family that emigrated from Finland. Even though he was born in the U.S., he spoke only Finnish until he started grade school. Ed and his wife Joyce raised their family in Lake Worth, Florida, an area that was known as Little Helsinki due to its large Finnish population. He spoke the language his entire life because of the interaction he maintained with his Finnish family and friends. He was proud of his heritage. At the age of 17, Ed joined the U.S. Navy in February, 1944 to serve in World War II during its most critical time. He was in New York where his Company was being loaded on troop ships for Normandy when the line was cut off just in front of him, which most likely saved his life. Most of his Company was killed during the invasion while he was fortunate to have served his Country in Trinidad off the north coast of South America. He married Joyce S. Liukko on September 10, 1949 after completing his military service. They were married for 66 years. Ed is survived by his wife Joyce, son Larry Liukko of Cortez, daughter and son-in-law Gay and Ari Ojanpera of Fairhope, Alabama, daughter and son-in-law Michelle and Dave Gillian of Hobe Sound, Florida, son and daughter-in-law Craig and Carol Liukko of Mancos, Colorado, 18 grand-children and 31 great grand-children. Ed and Joyce moved to Montezuma County, Colorado in 1976. Ed was self-employed in the building trades in the earlier years of his working life but began a new career in hard rock mining with his two sons in 1980 developing a silver mine high up in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton, Colorado. His friends, family and a close group of shareholders purchased the Red Arrow Mine near Mancos, Colorado in 1988 in which he and Joyce invested heavily and spent many years of hard but mostly satisfying work. In addition to his love of mining, Ed Liukko was a man that lived a life of constant sacrifice for others. He counseled countless people with addiction, marriage and a myriad of other personal problems. He also spent time in Guatemala and Trinidad helping the less fortunate with their spiritual and physical needs. He was kind, gentle and incredibly even tempered as everyone that knew him could attest. He will be greatly missed. The Liukko family is particularly thankful for the outstanding care provided by Dr. Heyl, the special people at Hospice of Montezuma, Inc., Pastor Jeff McDonell from Evangel Assembly of God, Rick Torres, a Montezuma County Veteran Service Officer and the many others that supported the Liukko family in Ed's final days. As an expression of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Evangel Assembly of God, 209 W 5th Street, Cortez, CO 81321.