CALUMET - Alan G. Harju, 77, passed away Sept. 18, 2012, at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in Laurium.
He was born June 15, 1935, in Fulton, a son of Edwin and Martha (Hakasaari) Harju. Growing up on his family farm in Copper City, he knew hard work at an early age. His father taught him how to log alongside him in the woods, in addition to trapping and hunting. He attended the Calumet schools and later earned his certification in welding from Michigan Technological University.
Alan worked on the ore boats on the Great Lakes during his younger years. As a welder, he worked in various shops locally and, in his later years, as a welder for Lakeshore Corp., in Ontonagon.
He enjoyed building projects, carpentry work and anything that allowed him to be outdoors. In the wintertime, cross country skiing was a favorite pasttime. During his middle years, he enjoyed spending time with his family at the camp and sauna that he built at Big Betsy on Lake Superior. In recent years, when he was physically able, he enjoyed spending time there, watching his grandchildren play on the beach.
Alan was a man of deep faith who trusted in God's promises with his whole heart, praying daily for his friends and family.
On Jan. 12, 1957, he married the former Gertrude Jarve. She passed away Feb. 3, 1991. He then married the former Susan Belobradich on June 19, 1993.
He was a member of the Northwood Christian Assembly Church.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gert; five brothers, Dennis, Robert, James, Steve and Gary.
Alan is survived by his wife, Susan of Laurium; son, Michael (Lisa) Harju of Laurium; four daughters, Debbie Berryman of Calumet, Robin (Mark) Doolittle of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Marcy (Jay) Frusti of Negaunee and Dawn (Terry) Ouellette of Portage, Michigan; grandchildren, David, Stephanie, Mark, Brandy, Matthew, Benjamin, Mark, Bret, Rachelle, Ashley, John and Connor; great-grandchildren, Mark, Austin, Trista and Alyssa; two step-daughters, Tonya Dahlen of Calumet and Erin (Keith) Platfoot of Georgia; brothers, Norman (Rosie) Harju of Calumet, Donald (Rachel) Harju of Boston Location and Calvin (Candace) Harju of Traprock; sisters, Myrna Karpinen of Boston Location and Carolyn (Fred) Palosaari of Kearsarge; special aunt, Hilda Hyrkas of Hancock; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family offers heartfelt appreciation to the caring staff of Houghton County Medical Care Facility for the wonderful care he received during his residency over the past two years.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, in the Erickson Crowley Funeral Home in Calumet. Rev. Ken Toth will be officiating. Burial will be in the Lake View Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home from noon until 1 p.m.
The Erickson Crowley Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left at ericksoncrowley.com.