CHASSELL - Raymond D. Ojala, 82, a resident of Broemer Road, Chassell, passed away peacefully Saturday afternoon, July 13, 2013, at home with his family at his side.
He was born January 6, 1931, in Nisula, a son of the late Toivo and Ethel (Pirkola) Ojala. As a child, Ray moved with his family from Keweenaw Bay to Hancock, where he graduated from Hancock High School with the class of 1950.
He enjoyed many of his earlier years with family and friends at the Pirkola family farm in Pelkie.
Ray began his working career as a trackman for the D.S.S. & A. Railroad.
He then enlisted with the United States Army from 1952 to 1954, serving in Korea.
Following his service to his country, Ray returned to the Copper Country and followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, working for the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad and the Soo Line Railroad. Ray retired from the Wisconsin Central Railroad in 1993.
In his early retirement, he spent his time caregiving for his wife and together they grew spectacular vegetable and flower gardens. After his wife passed away, he became a volunteer at the Portage Health information desk. Ray volunteered for about 10 years until his health prevented him from continuing.
On November 5, 1954, he was united in marriage to the former Dolores Stipech. Dolores preceded him in death in 1999.
Mr. Ojala was an active member of St. Anne's Catholic Church in Chassell, the Alfred Erickson Post 186 American Legion in Hancock, Post 6507 VFW in Chassell and the Knights of Columbus Brotherhood Council 13224 in Chassell.
Ray was a handyman who could do just about anything from building his own home, to fixing any problem a friend would have. He enjoyed woodworking and refurbishing antiques. Up until his illness, he loved attending the many local music festivals.
Preceding him in death were his parents and his wife.
Surviving are his daughters, Naomi "Noni" Ojala of Chassell, Nancy (Gary) Krueger of Paw Paw, Mich. and Julie (Chanse) Linder of Laurium; his grandchildren, Steven Linder, Anthony Linder, Holly Hereau, Ashley Krueger and Abigail Krueger; his great-granddaughters, Nevaeh and Alora Linder; his fiance, Shirley Simula of Calumet; his brothers and sisters, Fred (Carol) Ojala of Baraga, Shirley Anderson of Houghton Canal, Carol (Jim) Wilkinson of Wildwood, Fla. and Robert (Mary Jane) Ojala of Hancock; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and extended family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 18 in St. Anne's Catholic Church in Chassell with Fr. Al Mott to celebrate. Military services and burial will be in the Lakeview Cemetery in Calumet at 1:30 p.m.
Friends may call on Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Chassell and on Thursday from 10 a.m. until time of services in the church.
To view Ray's obituary or to send condolences to the family, please visit memorialchapel.net.
The Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Chassell is assisting the family with arrangements.