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Board Director Paul Ollila passes away

December 1, 2023 | By Admin


The Copper Country community lost a legend in mid November when Paul Ollila passed away following a lengthy illness. Ollila had been involved with our organization since being appointed to our board of directors in 1998, including a six-year stint as the organization's Board Chair.

The following is a statement from our President/CEO Kevin Store on the impact Ollila had.

It is with a sad heart that I would like to take a moment and acknowledge Paul Ollila, a long-time board member and friend, who recently passed away.

He dutifully and intently helped govern the foundation for the past 25 years, including six years in a leadership position as the Board Chair. Paul has never wavered in his commitment to this organization (even in times of his own health challenges) and has remained a staunch supporter and advocate for the work we do. Most importantly, Paul always believed we can make a difference in the lives of the people that are served and benefit from it. He believed in the people of this community and never lost sight of why we are here. He also made sure to keep our purpose a top-of-mind focus in our decision making as we put these monies to work for the community.

His void on our Board of Directors and throughout the community will be felt and difficult to replace.

Personally, Paul has been a great friend and mentor to me over the past 25 years. I remember the first meeting I sat in with Paul so many years ago; how intimidating he seemed when I first met him. He had such a commanding "presence" in his role as the Superintendent of Schools, one that commanded respect and attention. There is great irony in that first impression because the Paul I had the opportunity to know was nothing more than a big teddy bear. He had an incredibly kind heart, compassionate soul and a wonderful sense of humor that resided just below that "hard-line" exterior. He provided sound counsel, support and was more than willing to kick a person in the butt when they needed it - even if you didn't know that you did. To say that he will be missed is an understatement.

Please keep his devoted wife, Joyce, their children and all of their families in your thoughts and prayers. Like so many people we know, this holiday season will likely be a little more difficult for them without Paul stirring up trouble and his laughter filling the room.

Paul Ollila's impact was felt far and wide in our community, and his impact will be felt for generations to come. Many from the Copper Shores family will be joining A celebration of Paul’s life will be held in the spring/summer of 2024 Read his full obituary and kind comments from those that knew him on the Memorial Chapel Funeral & Cremation Services website.