TOIVOLA - Ernest L. "Ernie" Jarvela, 83, a resident of Toivola, passed away on Saturday, May 26, 2012, at Cypress Manor in Hancock.
He was born May 28, 1928, in Hancock, a son of the late Lally Jarvela. He was raised in Toivola and attended the local school. He received his GED while serving in the U.S. Air Force.
In 1944, at the age of 16, he enlisted in the Merchant Marines and served on ocean-going ships for two years as an oiler and water tender. In 1946, he enlisted in the Air Force and served for 25 years, retiring in 1971 as a Senior Master Sgt. His tours took him all over the United States, also service overseas in Germany during the "Berlin Air Lift." He spent four years in Scotland as Fire Chief at Kirknewton A.F.B. He also served three years at Goose Bay, Labrador as Division Fire Inspector for the 37th Air Division A.D.C. and a year in France.
Ernie was married to the former Elaine Johnson of Toivola on July 26, 1948, in Thomson, Ga. They were married 63 years and had four children.
In 1971, he retired from the Air Force and returned to his home in Toivola and spent many years remodeling his home and enjoying the country life. He especially liked cutting his fields with his John Deere tractor. He also enjoyed gardening and hunting.
After retiring from the Air Force, Ernie drove the school bus for Stanton Township for 17 years and also served as Fire Chief of Toivola for 17 years.
Ernie was a member of the Apostolic Lutheran faith. He was a life member of Rangers Post 6165 in South Range where he served as past commander for two years. He was also a life member of Masonic Post 1338 in Edinborough, Scotland.
Ernie was preceded in death by his parents; his grandparents; a son, Ernest Jarvela; two daughters, Sharon Jarvela and Donna Wood.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elaine of Toivola; one daughter, Sandra (Alfred) Scheetz of Hamden, Conn.; four grandsons, Reed (Marni) Wood of Dangerfield, Texas, Jacob, Benjamin and Samuel Scheetz of Hamden, Conn.; two great-granddaughters, Isabella and Juliet Wood of Dangerfield, Texas; several nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as numerous friends.
Ernie will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 31, 2012, in the South Range Apostolic Lutheram Church, with Pastor Arvo Onermaa to officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to services on Thursday at the church. Burial will be in the Toivola Cemetery with military rites to be conducted by Ranger Post 6165.
Arrangements are being handled by the Mountain View Mortuary in South Range, Antila Funeral Service, Inc.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at antilafuneral.com.