Waino W. Korpela
Finnish North American Literature Association
Waino W. Korpela was born in the Great Depression at home in Bessemer Township,
Michigan in 1933. One of seven siblings he spoke Finnish before he learned English and
traveled to school at times in the winter in a horse drawn school bus which his father
drove a mile to catch the school bus or in nice weather it was a mile walk. His father, an
immigrant from Finland, lived his early life when Russia dominated Finland in basically a
rural economy to being a free person in a society which landed the first astronauts on the
moon two months before his death. Bill on the other hand lived from horse drawn school
bus to seeing the Soviet Union dismantled and being able to fly a jet to Finland in eight
hours which had taken his father weeks for the trip. Bill as his friends knew him knew
the meaning of physical work and also understood what an education meant. He
eventually through perseverance received his Doctorate from Michigan State University
and served at retirement as the director of the Michigan Intermediate Agency at Bergland,
Finns including Bill love freedom not only for themselves but for all of humankind. His
work reflects that and the enthusiasm he engendered for his father’s land of birth on his
1992 trip to Finland as depicted in “Song of Suomi”. Finns supposedly lack humor but
you will note in reading “Finn” that Bill and Finns in general enjoy humor and laughter.
Laughter is universal, however, be it in different forms.
Bill married Liola Fafford of Saxon, Wisconsin in 1956. They have five sons and
numerous grand children. Bill passed away unexpectedly at the age of 65 in 1999.
Finn. Edited by Ernest Korpela.Cornucopia, WI: Korpela Publishing, 2012.
This work is a collection of Waino "Bill: Korpela's lifetime work in scholarly, creative and
critical genres. It is presented posthumously, edited by his brother Ernest. It includes a
long poem in a Kalevala-style meter with copious notes providing historical perspective to
support the extended literary work.
It also includes a scholarly article, "The Linguistic and Genetic Roots of Finns," a
scholarly article, as well as a short fictive work, "The Legend of St. Urho: New
Revelations," and Other Poems and Narratives.
Included is original artwork by Otto Korpela, brother to both Waino and Ernest.
Email the editor at korpela at cheqnet dot net, call 715 742-3349 or 906 663-4862 , or
write to Ernest Korpela, PO Box 273, Cornucopia, WI 54827 or Liola Korpela, PO Box
163, Ramsay, MI 49959 to order your copy today. The cost is $14.95 (softcover), plus
tax and shipping.