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Laila Washburn

March 3, 1919 February 4, 2021
Laila Washburn
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Obituary for Laila Washburn

MASON - Laila (Suominen) Washburn passed away on February 4, 2021, in the loving care of her daughter Heidi and son-in-law Dr. John Haley, just shy of her 102nd birthday. Laila was the daughter of Karl J. and Amanda M (Sillanpaa) Suominen who immigrated from Finland and settled in the Bronx, New York where Laila was born on March 3, 1919. At the age of 11, Laila and her family moved to New Ipswich, NH, where they operated a dairy and layer hen farm. In 1937 she met and married Guy Porter Washburn and moved to Mason where she called home and raised her six children.

Laila was very active in her community and the Mason Congregational Church, where she was the oldest member. Laila was the holder of the town of Mason’s Boston Post Cane. Laila was a member of the Young Women's Club, Mason Ladies Aide, The National Grange, and was supervisor of the checklist for many years. Laila enjoyed giving back to her community. She taught Sunday school, organized and worked at many fairs, strawberry festivals, and old home days. She organized many dances at the Mason Town Hall for the local teens along with her friend Peg Morrison. Laila and her friends called themselves “The Mason Girls” and enjoyed welcoming newcomers to town by gifting them with her finnish coffee bread.



Laila was a woman of many talents. She was best known for her Finnish coffee bread, her beautifully knitted baby sweaters, and her crocheted white crosses. She enjoyed making the bread with and for those she loved. She never turned away an unexpected visitor and always had a loaf to share with them over a cup of coffee. She graced many newborns of family and friends with her baby sweater sets. Over the years, many people in the community (and worldwide) have received a delicate white cross from her, which she continued to crochet into her late 90’s. Her bread, sweater sets, and crosses were often gifted as a way to let people dear to her know that she was thinking of them.


Laila was predeceased by her husband of 60 years Guy Porter Washburn, son Dana Washburn, grandson Christopher Steele Jr, and her siblings Charles, Walter and Elvira Suominen and Fanny Economo.

Laila’s beautiful life will be remembered by those she leaves behind: her two daughters, Ann and husband William Corbett of Nashua, NH, Heidi and husband Dr. John Haley of Greenfield, NH, her three sons James Washburn and his significant other Pamela Cote of Mason, NH, Timothy and his wife Claire Washburn of Greenville, NH, Michael and his wife Kathleen Washburn of Concord, NH. Her grandchildren Amanda Mazerolle, David Corbett, Hannah Corbett, Kimberly Anderson, Tara Olson, Samantha Krook, Julie Pyhala, Renee Washburn, Ryan Washburn, Lauren Nelson, Kristen Kivela and Jeffrey Steele. Also, 22 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren. She will be missed by her devoted friends, Nancy “Sukey” Clough, Rosanna Dube and Michael Farrey.

Laila’s family is appreciative of the compassionate care provided by the nurses and aides at Summerhill Assisted Living over her three year stay. A special thank you to Jean Kundert for the love and support she showed Laila when her family couldn’t be with her.

There will be no services at this time but a celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Memorial Contributions in Laila’s name can be made to: Mason Congregational Church, 33 Valley Road, Mason NH 03048.

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