SOUTH RANGE - James A. Bekkala, 80, passed away at his home on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
He was born in Calumet, raised in Swedetown Location and attended the Calumet schools. Jim graduated from Calumet High School in 1950 and from Michigan Tech with a B.S. degree in mining engineering in 1954.
Jim served in the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers from 1954 to 1956.
Jim married the former Susan Yates on Sept. 10, 1955 in Washington, D.C. The couple established residence in White Pine in 1956 where Jim began his career at the White Pine Copper Company and ultimately became mine manager.
After 42 years of marriage, Sue passed away on Sept. 9, 1997.
Jim is survived by his five children: John (Julie) of Arizona, Bill of Los Angeles, Calif., Virginia (Craig) Rautiola of Vermont, James of Colorado and Ann (Chris) McGorrian of Germany; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and his special love, Karen M. Johnson of Baltic.
He was a life member of the Copper Range Historical Society in South Range where he served as a board member and volunteer host at the museum. Jim had a love of the Keweenaw area and maintained many lifelong friendships with his classmates.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, at noon in the Ryan Funeral Home, Calumet, with Pastor D.J. Rasner officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services. Burial will be in the Lake View Cemetery.