Anja Kulmala, 88, of Lake Bluff went from her home to be with the Lord on December 21, 2019 after a long illness. She was born on January 20th, 1931 in Viipuri, Finland in a region lost to Russia in WWII. After escaping with her family to another area of Finland, Anja trained postwar as a professional seamstress to help support her family. She was also an accomplished artist and painter. She met and married Pentti Kulmala and they had three children. They later emigrated to Canada, moved and became naturalized in the United States and had one more child. In the 1970s, she graduated high school again in the U.S. with a GED and followed with college coursework in computers and accountancy. She continued to work as a seamstress; sewing for several friends, family, dedicated clients, and providing custom, one-of-a-kind clothing for a shop in Lake Forest, IL. She and her husband were known for providing home and shelter to teens and adults who needed a place to stay for various periods of time. She also enjoyed babysitting several children in her later years and some considered her an additional grandmother. She retired to make quilts, which she continued to sell well into her 80s. She is survived by her husband of 68 years and her children: Kitty Andert (Josh) of Seattle, WA; Dr. Henrik Kulmala of Third Lake, IL; Kai Kulmala (Ruth) of Rantoul, IL; Dr. Ruth Kulmala (Robert) of Lake Bluff, IL; and Jonina Weisz of Portland, OR. She is also survived by several grandchildren; Dr. Faith Grzesik (Alexander), Kai Kulmala (Janelle), Hope Kulmala, Andrew Repp (Lisa), Finn Repp, as well as Ori Weisz, and Elan Weisz, whom she adored. She also has three great-grandchildren: Kail, Emma, and Alexis Kulmala; and another on the way. Visitation will be at Strang Funeral Home in Grayslake on Friday December 27th at 11 a.m., followed by procession at noon, and interment at Highland Memorial Gardens, Libertyville. A reception open house will follow at 5:00 p.m. the Kulmala home in Lake Bluff. If you prefer not to send flowers, the family would recommend a donation to the Kindred at Home Foundation, HomeInstead Senior Care Foundation, or the BrightFocus Foundation.