Long time Fairbanksan dies.

Long time Fairbanks educator and lawmaker Niilo Koponen has died.

His family says he passed away Tuesday at the Fairbanks pioneer home.

Koponen and his wife Joan came to Fairbanks in 1952.

They homesteaded on Chena Ridge, and he was instrumental in starting the Chena Goldstream fire department.

He donated the land for the station in 1977.

Koponen served as a Democrat in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1983 to 1992.