FRANKLIN LOCATION- Michael A. Gemignani, 87, of Franklin Location on Quincy Hill, died on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at Portage Health in Hancock.
He was born on June 2, 1926 at the Franklin Mine streetcar station that was owned by his grandfather. He was the son of Alidino and Mabel (Olson) Gemignani, and he attended the Franklin and Pewabic schools.
Mike served in the U.S. Army for three years during the occupation of Germany as a tank crew member, whose responsibility was to patrol the Russian and Czechoslovakian borders. Later, beginning in 1953, he joined the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a Tech Sergeant on August 1, 1970. Following his military career, he was employed at the former St. Joseph-St. Patrick School for two years, and then continued to work at the Hancock Public School System until 1981. He was a former member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church on Quincy Hill where he served as an altar boy when he was young. When the church closed, he became a member of the Church of the Resurrection in Hancock. He was also a life member of the Bay Post VFW in Dollar Bay.
Mike was fondly known as the historian of Quincy Hill. Whenever he had a chance to talk about the past, he would often have a story to tell, including names and dates of events from the old Quincy neighborhoods. He was never at a loss for words and made friends easily. He was not afraid to stand up for his principals and what he thought was right. He enjoyed gardening, caring for his animals, and making wood. Mike and Dana Richter were instrumental in efforts to erect a monument to Big Louie Moilanen, a local historical celebrity.
Besides his parents, he was also preceded in death by a young brother, Ralph Gemignani.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 33 years, Rita Gemignani of Franklin Mine; a son, David (Lois) Gemignani of Hancock; a grandson, Halverson Gemignani; step-children, Mark Cinelli, Laura (Russ) Erkkila, Karen DeSplinter, Kevin (Amy) Cinelli, and Steven Cinelli; step-grandchildren, Kara Solmonson, Cole Solmonson, April (Ben) Johnson, Kyle Cinelli, Ethan Cinelli, and Gwenyth Cinelli; and step-great-grandchildren, Mykah, Jaxton, and Elliot.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 3, 2014 in the Church of the Resurrection with Rev. Fr. William Ssozi to officiate.
Spring burial with military honors to be conducted by the Copper Country Veterans Association will be at Hancock's Lakeside Cemetery.
Friends may call at the O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home in Hancock on Sunday from 4 until 6 p.m. and at the church on Monday from 10 a.m. until the time of services at 11 a.m.
Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, 527 Hancock Ave., Hancock, MI 49930 in the name of Michael Gemignani. To leave online condolences, please go to his obituary at oneilldennishfh.com.