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Laurie E. Wiitala

October 12, 2009
The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Laurie E. Wiitala, 79, of Houghton, died at his home Saturday morning, October 10, 2009.

He was born in Toivola on February 26, 1930, to the late Laurie and Elsie (Trasti) Wiitala and attended Toivola Schools. The Wiitala family was part of a group of founding families of Toivola.

On April 15, 1950, he married Lilly Eakin at the Houghton Presbyterian Church.

He worked for several employers including Briggs & Straton in Milwaukee, a relative's farm in Minnesota, Lake Superior Fisheries, Gibbs City Lumber Company and the Copper Range Freda Mill. Most of his working life was at the White Pine Mine, being employed there for 28 years until the mine closed. He then worked at Suomi College until his retirement.

He was a member of Bethany Baptist Church in Dollar Bay.

He enjoyed making wind chimes as a hobby, but will also be remembered as a loving husband, father, papa and great-papa.

He is survived by his wife, Lilly; two daughters, Christy (John) Kerttu of Houghton and Lori (Gene) North of Manistee, Mich.; grandchildren, Jeremy (Erica) Wiitala, Jason (Jess) Wiitala, Jimmy (Sarah) Wiitala, Lee Kerttu, Sarah (Weston) McEvoy, Luke Kerttu, Jamison Kerttu, Bill North, and Heather North; great-grandchildren, Taycee Wiitala, Kaylin and Jordin Heikkila; daughter-in-law, Michelle Wiitala; siblings, Dennis Blom of South Range, Gloria Busniewski of Saginaw, Joan (Bruce) Perry of Ishpeming, Lorna (Howard) Laaminen of South Range, Erma (Roy) Isaacson of Fla. and many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.

Besides his parents, he was also preceded in death by a son, James E. Wiitala and his step-mother, Edna Wiitala. A memorial service will be held at Bethany Baptist Church on Wednesday at 1 p.m. with Pastor Brian Knight to officiate.

Friends may call an hour before services at the church. The O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home in Hancock is assisting with the arrangements. Online condolences may be made at

Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to Bethany Baptist Church in the name of Laurie Wiitala.



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