Maj-lis Esselstrom passed away peacefully at the age of 80 on June 29, 2008, following a stroke. She was born in Finland on March 6, 1928, and immigrated to the United States in 1955 with her husband, Goran, and their two infant sons.
The family was sponsored by their relatives, the Nylunds of Grants Pass, Ore., owners of the landmark Riverside Inn and numerous sawmills where many immigrant Scandinavians became employees and shareholders.
Maj-lis and Goran moved from Grants Pass to Crescent City in 1958, where their daughter was born, and became U.S. citizens. Maj-lis first worked for Lund's Plywood Mill, on an all-female green chain, pulling veneer to make wooden crates. She was later employed for many years as the head of housekeeping at a motel owned by her good friend, Olive Hatlin.
Maj-lis and Goran were longtime members of the Order of the Runeburg, an international organization dedicated to the celebration of Finnish-Swedish speaking culture and heritage.
Maj-lis is survived by her husband of 56 years, Goran Esselstrom of Hiouchi, her sons Kenneth and wife Ardette Esselstrom of Crescent City, Tom and wife Ellie Esselstrom of Folsom, daughter Janise Esselstrom Owens of Folsom; grandchildren James and wife Laura Albin of Los Angeles, Sonja Albin of Wisconsin, Erik Owens of Folsom, Claire and Drew Esselstrom of Folsom, great-grandson Payton Albin of Los Angeles, identical twin sister Louise and husband Per Roslund of Finland and numerous relatives living in Finland.