Dr. Allan Richard Pohto, 91, went home to be with the Lord on June 6, 2009, Services were conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 9, 2009, at the Spear-Mulqueeny Funeral Home 667 Mentor Ave., Painesville.
Born Oct. 9, 1917, in Fairport Harbor, he was a native of Fairport Harbor and was a 50-year Painesville resident.
His father emigrated from Finland to an ethnic community and Dr. Pohto spoke Finnish at school until second grade. He was a Boy Scout in Ralph Rood's Beaver Patrol.
Dr. Pohto was a graduate of Fairport Harding High School and earned a D.D.S. degree from the Ohio State University School of Dentistry. His dental school experience was notable for Professor Lyndon Edwards recognizing him for being the first student in nine years to earn an "A" in Gross Anatomy, an achievement that was not matched during the next 20 years. He was a Brother in Delta Sigma Delta dental fraternity.
Dr. Pohto served in the U.S. Army for three years during World War II where he rose to Major in the jungles of Mindanao, Moratai, and New Guinea with the 31st Division, 155th Regiment and was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery. He served in combat as the Regimental Dental Surgeon and made five landings into Japanese enemy fire. He repelled banzai charges, and men died in his arms.
He loved practicing dentistry in Fairport Harbor for countless wonderful patients for 57 years. He enjoyed good fellowship, gardening, traveling, and O.S.U. football. He has appreciated membership in the Painesville B.P.O.E. #549, Finnish Heritage Museum, and the Fairport Harbor Historical Society.
He was confirmed at Emmanuel Lutheran Church and enjoyed worshipping at the First Church Congregational and Saint Andrews Church.
Dr. Pohto is survived by his daughter, Suzanne and her husband, Rodney Gynther; son, Mark and his wife, Kimberly Pohto; grandsons, Andrew and Paul Pohto; and many more dear relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Donna (Evans) Pohto; his parents, Mikko and Saima Pohto; and siblings, Arvo, Linda, Jean and Carol.
Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Painesville. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Finnish Heritage Museum, 301 High St. Fairport Harbor, OH 44077, or to the Fairport Harbor Historical Society, 129 Second St., Fairport Harbor, OH 44077.