COPPER CITY - Albert E. Harjala, 93, a former resident of Gay, Bumbletown Hill and Copper City, passed from this life on Wednesday, January 1, 2014, in Tucson, Ariz.
Al was born July 14, 1920, in Copper City to John and Viola (Haltunen) Harjala. He attended schools in Gay and Copper City and was a 1939 graduate of Calumet High School.
On May 3, 1943, Al married the former Lillian Parkin of Ahmeek. They spent over 70 years together. Al and Lil were blessed with four children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Al proudly served his country during World War II as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. He was honorably discharged on September 22, 1945.
Most of his working life was spent in the Copper Country. Al worked as a miner for C&H, as a pulp cutter and, for most of his career, as a construction carpenter. He had worked on several of the existing buildings at Michigan Tech as well as many other local construction projects. Al retired in 1983.
Al loved music and the guitar dearly. He played and sang locally for a number of years with various music groups including the "3H Trio" (Harjala, Helppi & Huhta). Al entertained the residents at Cypress Manor for several years as part of the "Grandmas and Grandpas" group along with his wife, Lillian, and Marie and Guido Baima.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Elmer, Arthur and Leonard; and sisters, Lyla and Leona.
Al is survived by his wife, Lillian; daughter, Valerie (Erland) Anderson; there sons, Albert (Rita), Leslie (Lenny) and Larry (Sue); grandchildren, Christopher (Jules), Jeffery, Whitney, Aaron, Angel, Len, Kent, Michael (Jacoy) and Sandra; great-grandchildren, Gregory and Eileen; brothers, Edward (Dorothy) and Wesley (Shirley); sisters-in-law, Gwen Haltunen and Marie Harjala; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
At Al's request, there will be no public visitation or service. Per his instructions, the remains are to be scattered at a serene, wooded glen on the property of son, Larry, in the mountains of Wyoming.