The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Phillip Palkki


April 22, 2020

Oct. 4, 1926 - April 3, 2020

Phillip Harold Palkki, 93, of Sweet Home, died at 6:50 p.m. on April 3, 2020.

He was born at 5:50 a.m. on October 4, 1926 in Sago Township, Itasca County, Minn., the 11th of 12 children, to Finnish immigrants Tuomas Adolf and Anna Angeliina (Niskanen) Palkki.

He was raised in Minnesota. He served in the Merchant Marines in the Pacific Fleet during World War II.

Mr. Palkki was grateful to be invited to participate in the Honor Flight group for war veterans in October 2019.

After his time in the Merchant Marines he married and in 1947 moved with his wife, Helen P. Hietala, to Sweet Home.

He spent the majority of his adult life in the Sweet Home area. They lived a few years in McMinnville, as well as near Portland. They also lived two years in Florida while on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mr. Palkki worked nearly 40 years with Willamette Industries Foster Division. He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, faithfully serving in many capacities. For many years he was active in coaching community youth baseball and basketball teams.

He enjoyed camping, fishing and hunting with family and friends. Even into his last days he continued to enjoy golfing and especially bowling, participating in two bowling leagues each week. A few months before his passing, he bowled a 256 scratch game.

In the last five years of his life Mr. Palkki developed great interest and skill in doing genealogical research. He had the privilege of making a trip to Finland during the spring of 2017 to visit his country of ancestry. He was thrilled to meet many cousins.

He is survived by his children, Dennis and daughter-in-law Marilyn Palkki of Milwaukie, Marvin and daughter-in-law Karen Palkki of Provo, Utah, Tom Palkki of Corvallis, and Cheryl and son-in-law Art Funk of Sweet Home; son-in-law Ron Zook of Dayton; younger brother Matt Palkki (Bernice) of Michigan; and a bounteous posterity of 29 grandchildren; 68 great- grandchildren; and, at his death, his first great-great-grandchild in the making.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen; daughters Debra Zook and Phyllis Palkki; and an infant son.

Due to COVID-19, a memorial service will be announced at a future time.The family held a private family graveside at Gilliland Cemetery.

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements. 


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