Aavo Merend


Aavo Merend 86, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 12, 2020. He was born in Paide, Estonia on January 21, 1934 to Andres and Malle Merend.

As a boy, he and his family fled the Soviet occupation of Estonia and lived for five years in various refugee camps in Germany. His family emigrated to the United States in 1949, settling in Queens, NY. He earned his master’s degree in engineering from Columbia University, followed by a PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He worked as an engineer at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna for 36 years, retiring in 1996.

Aavo was active in the Albany-Schenectady Estonian Association. He had a life-long passion for photography, his favorite subjects being family and nature. In his retirement years, he and his wife enjoyed traveling to Europe and many destinations in the United States. He also loved gardening and maintained beautiful gardens around his home. He took special interest in the development of the gardens around Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glenville, NY, where he was a member of the congregation.

He was predeceased by his parents, Andres and Malle, and a brother Mati Merend. Aavo is survived by his wife of 57 years, Enel (Karmo) Merend, and their children Helve Saarela of Wilbraham, MA, Tia Thomson (Raymond Jahn) of Warwick, NY, and Anne Liivak (Andres) of Hillsborough, NJ; as well as brother Toivo Merend (Judy) of Peekskill, NY. Aavo was the cherished grandfather of Andrew, Johanna, Kristi, Erik, Helina, Emma, and Tomas.

A private memorial service will be held on a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Aavo may be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (www.goodshepherdglenville.com), or to the Estonian American Fund (www.eafund.org).

Guest Book

Michael and Stella Collins

We were deeply saddened to learn of Aavo's passing. We met Aavo and Enel four years ago at the monthly luncheons for retirees of the Knolls Atomic Power Lab. We looked forward to sitting with them every month and shared many enjoyable meals and conversations together. We will greatly miss Aavo and our hearts go out to Enel and his family and friends.

Anita and Toivo Saar

Kallis Enel,
We are so saddened by your loss. Aavo was such a kind and wonderful person and we have so many memories of good times spent together. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Dick Maye

I worked with Aavo for many years at KAPL and enjoyed joining him and other retirees for lunch. Aavo was a wonderful person!

Lynn Mckinnon

Enel And family, I am so sorry to hear of Aavo’s passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Riina Viise

Sudamest kaastunne sulle Enel ja tervele perele..Ole tugev, ja ka tanulik et saite nii kaua koos elu nautida.

Liisa Mai Petersen and Jamie Wallace

Sending you the love. We have made a contribution to the Estonian American Fund in Aavo's memory.

Barbara White

Dear Enel....You are in my mind ever since you gave us the sad news about Aavo. After all your years married, I am sure it makes for very difficult days in missing him. Both Phil & I prayed for you last night to help you through these difficult days. I know your girls will help you to get thru this time. Just know that as soon as you are ready, the "fabulous four" will get together & in the meantime, I am sending you hugs & love.
Love, Barb

John and Patt Thomson

We can’t begin to tell you all our sad we are to hear of Aavo’s passing. His photos will live on forever. I and we were truly blessed to know such a wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Much love
Patt and Johnny

Philip G Moore

Enel, you already have my emails and there will be more to come. My thoughts and prayers are with Aavo and you. Stay strong. We are all in God's hands.
Peace and Love,
Phil