Benhart Andrew Kivilahti Benhart Andrew Kivilahti was born on January 30, 1937, better known as "Papa" to many, passed away on April 24, 2014, in the comfort of his own home with many of his beloved family members at his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Hilma Kivilahti; sister, Helen Dresher; and grandson, Mark Kivilahti. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Nancy Kivilahti; as well as his four daughters, Jane Valk, Barbara (Dave) Harrell, Lori Kelleher, and Cathy (Jeff) Balich; his grandchildren, Gina Price, Jason Ferrario, Kevin (Anki) Mihovich, Patrick, Chris and Ashley Kelleher, and Caitlyn and Kylie Balich; his great-grandchildren, Austin Kivilahti, Sophia and Charlotte Price, and Sydney and Tyler Kelleher; his siblings, Wilbert Ranta and Thelma Heckila; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was a young man at heart, who was forever tinkering and keeping busy with his hobbies. He retired from Penske after 25 years of service as a skilled mechanic, and his love for cars never subsided. Even after retirement he remained the mechanic for his family. They jokingly recount how he could easily diagnose a car problem with just a mimicked sound of the problem. Originally from Biwabik, Minnesota, he spent 28 years in Spring Valley, CA, in a home he built from the ground up with his family. Here he enjoyed his gardening, the daily "funny" paper, crosswords, westerns, and was a diehard SF Forty Niners and Giants fan that never missed a game, and often watched them with his grandchildren and daughters. While he was a man of few words, he was a genuine, caring, patient man who supported the many people in his life wholeheartedly. He was the handyman for his home, and that of his daughter Lori. Without request, he maintained both daily. He was a huge support system in the lives of many, and was a strong father figure to his grandchildren who have many cherished memories of tree forts and toys he built, as well as the passing on of his many skills to them. They all lovingly refer to him as "Papa". Benhart "Papa" Kivilahti will be missed by many. You are welcome to join his family and friends at his Memorial Service at Jones & Lewis Clear Lake Memorial Chapel at 16140 Main St, Lower Lake, CA 95457, on May 17, at 2 p.m. Please sign Benhart's online guest books at www.jonesandlewis.com and www.legacy.com.
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Published in Lake County Record-Bee from May 10 to May 16, 2014