He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II with Detachment 24th Repair Squadron 4th Air Depot Group. Jaaskela was hired as a sponsored researcher in the Department of Applied Biological Sciences in 1971. He originally retired from the Institute in 1981, but returned from 1986 to 1988 as an assistant animal technician in the Division of Comparative Medicine.
He leaves his wife, Valia M. (Caiazzi) Jaaskela; his son, William Jaaskela and his partner, Ken Rerkchan, of Los Angeles, Calif.; numerous nieces, nephews and one special grandniece, Jennifer Schumacher.
Funeral services are private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association, 135 Parkinson Ave., Staten Island, NY 10305.