COPPER CITY - Edward George Harjala, 91, a life-long resident of Copper City, passed away on Friday afternoon, February 28, 2014, at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in Laurium.
He was born on March 7, 1922, in Traprock Valley a son of John and Viola (Haltunen) Harjala. He attended Gay, Centennial and Copper City Schools. He then worked as postmaster for the Copper City Post Office for 27 years retiring on March 28, 1978. Ed also was well known as a carpenter.
Ed was a veteran having served with the US Army in the European Theater during WWII. He was a part of the "Battle of the Bulge" in Normandy. He served in a Tank Destroyer Battalion and was a Purple Heart recipient.
On April 10, 1943, he married the former, Dorothy Maki.
He is a member of Laurium Apostolic Lutheran Church as well as a life member of the Disabled American Veterans Post 26 and the American Legion Post 230. He was a past member of the Copper City Fire Fighters. In 2011, Ed was a proud participant in the 2011 Honor Flight.
Ed loved and was well known for cross-country skiing and racing. He also enjoyed mountainbiking. In the summers, he enjoyed spending time at Hermit's Cove where he spent happy hours trolling for lake trout and taking his saunas!
Ed was preceded in death by sisters, Lyla Makie and Leona Wolverton; brothers, Leonard Harjala, Albert Harjala, Elmer Haltunen and Arthur Harjala; and his son, Reed Harjala.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Dorothy; son, David (Sandra) Harjala of Knoxville, Tenn.; four grandchildren, April (Joe) Biondi, Allan (Mardi) Harjala, Sean (Cassie) Harjala and Jessie Harjala; three great grandchildren; one brother, Wesley (Shirley) Harjala of Hancock; sisters-in-law, Gwen Haltunen of Copper City, Marie Harjala of Calumet and Lillian Harjala of Ariz.; nieces, nephews and cousins; friends and ski friends all over the United States.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 5, at 11 a.m. in the Erickson-Crowley-Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet. Pastor Jay Weidner and Charles Jousma will officiate.
Friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday, March 4, from 3 to 5 and 6 to 8 p.m.
Spring burial will be in the Lake View Cemetery.
Online condolences may be left for the family at ericksoncrowleypeterson. com.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Michael Luoma and the hospital's ICU staff and nurses for their excellent care for Ed.
If desired, memorials may be given in Ed's name to the Swedetown Trails (P.O. Box 214 Calumet, MI 49913) or the Laurium Apostolic Lutheran Church (246 Tamarack St. Laurium, MI 49913).