Rakel Hynynen Sayre (1927 - 2014)

Obituary
2 entries
  • "Rakel was my Aunt Raksa, the wife of my mother's brother..."
    - Karen Baart
  • "Rakel shared amazing stories about life in Finland during..."
    - Patricia Kelly
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LAKEWOOD,
CO -- Rakel
Hynynen Sayre
left this earth
on December
10, 2014. Rakel
was born in
Lapeenranta, Finland, on
April 13, 1927 to Hilja and
Efraim Hynynen.
She was brought up during
the Depression by her
mother along with sisters,
Eila and Lea, and brother,
Sami. In 1939, the Russians
attacked Finland
and Rakel, her sisters,
and mother spent many
nights in bomb shelters
and months away as refugees.
Her brother was in
the Finnish army.
After the war, she
traveled and worked in
Europe. In 1950, she met
William (Bill) Whitaker
Sayre at a reconstruction
camp in Germany.
She got his attention by
dropping a hammer on
his head.
They married a year
later and moved to the
U.S., where Bill worked
as a civil engineer in
Wyoming, Montana, and
Colorado. They had four
sons Joel, Simon, Daniel,
and Roger, but lost Simon
at birth. Bill and Rakel
studied at CSU, where she
graduated in 1964 in Fine
Arts. She co-established
an art studio
in Fort Collins,
which still exists.
After Bill
completed his
work at CSU, the
family moved
to Iowa City, Iowa. Rakel
traveled frequently and
volunteered at orphanages
in Honduras and
Guatemala. Bill and Rakel
returned to Lakewood in
1980. They had a relationship
of opposites, stated
in one of her poems "I
climb the mountain, you
climb the mountain. We
climb together."
Bill died unexpectedly
in 1981. Rakel went to
earn two masters degrees
at age 60 and worked as
an art therapist for Aurora
Mental Health until
2000. Rakel was fiery but
compassionate. She was
spiritual, was New Age,
and aided those who were
vulnerable or neglected.
Rakel also volunteered a
home for unwed mothers,
nursing homes, and as a
surrogate mom for gays.
She is survived by Joel
and Roger of Lakewood,
and Daniel of San Francisco,
California and five
grandchildren. Services
are pending.
Donations in her
memory may be made to
.
Published in Colorado Community Newspapers on Dec. 18, 2014
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