Aarne Arvonen in 2006
4 August 1897|
|Died||1 January 2009
(aged 111 years, 150 days)
|Years of service||1918|
|Battles/wars||Finnish Civil War|
Aarne Armas "Arska" Arvonen (4 August 1897 – 1 January 2009) was, at age 111, a Finnish supercentenarian, the all-time oldest living male person in Finland. He was the third-oldest man in Europe since the death of 110-year-old Frenchman Aimé Avignon, on 23 August 2007. He also became the seventh-oldest man in the world upon the death of American George Francis on 27 December 2008. Mr Arvonen was also born at a time when Finland was still part of the Russian Empire.
Arvonen was born in Helsinki and was the last surviving veteran of the Finnish Civil War of 1918 having served for the Red Guard. Arvonen later lived in Kallio, Helsinki, and had two daughters, Irma and Paula, with his wife Sylvi Emilia Salonen. At this time Arvonen was a smoker. His wife died in 1938, and that year he moved to Järvenpää, where he eventually lived in the Vanhankylänniemi rest home. In the summer of 2005, Arvonen was still living in a house he had built himself. Soon afterwards, however, he was hospitalized due to nephritis. He recovered from the inflammation, and his health was good still in 2008, but he had lost his sight and needed a hearing aid.
Arvonen was interested in astronomy since his childhood, and in 1921 he became a founding member of the Finnish amateur astronomy association Ursa. His membership lasted nearly 87 years. He visited London during his centenary celebrations in 1997, and celebrated his 111th birthday in 2008 with his family, but skipped his yearly trip to the local McArthur pub, making it a low key affair.