Raymond Wilbert Marttila
Liminga – The Marttila family of Liminga, Michigan has lost their beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Raymond Wilbert Marttila.
Raymond was born on the family farm in Liminga on August 11, 1930 and joined his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 7, 2023. Son of Alma Saari and John Marttila, he was known for his intellect, wisdom, work ethic, sense of humor, family loyalty, storytelling, and Finnish “sisu.”
Finnish was Ray’s first language, the language spoken in his Liminga home. He learned English from his older siblings and at Liminga and Redridge Schools. It was at Redridge School where he had his eye on his future wife, Juliana Lahnala.
At Houghton High School, Ray excelled at academics and was an avid baseball and hockey player and ran track. He graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1952 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Having completed the ROTC program at MTU, he served as a 1st lieutenant in the United States Air Force in Korea, coordinating communications between the aircraft carriers and ground forces.
As a veteran, he was honored aboard Mission XIV of the U.P. Honor Flight.
He returned to Liminga to marry his long-time love, Juliana. They were united in marriage at the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church, Hancock on September 3, 1955, and they remained devotedly married for 67 years until his death.
Ray and Juliana moved to Dearborn, MI where he was employed as a draftsman at Ford Motor Company. Ray’s career took him to General Electric Company, Evendale, Ohio; Westinghouse Nuclear Division, Pittsburgh; and to Chore-Time Brock (CTB Inc) in Milford, Indiana. He retired from CTB as Vice President of Engineering after 25 years.
His graduation from the first Executive MBA class at the University of Notre Dame in 1984 demonstrated his lifelong passion for learning.
Ray was active in church leadership, sports, and volunteer activities. He shared a rich life with his wife, six children, and his grandchildren. Ray believed in higher education and instilled this belief in his children, all who graduated from college. His family, travel, golf, learning, and the Finnish sauna were passions. Ray enjoyed being outdoors and working on his Liminga farm. He traveled both professionally and personally with Juliana to a number of countries, including numerous trips to Finland.
He is survived by his wife Juliana (nee Lahnala), sister Laila Evans, daughters Joanne Marttila Pierson (Jerome), Carol D’Alberto (Frank), Jane Gremaux, Mary Lill (Jim), Sarah DeCleene, son John Marttila, grandchildren Joseph DeCleene, Hannah Do (Nhat), John DeCleene, Kenneth Gremaux, Raymond Gremaux, William Gremaux; and great-grandson Jonah James Do. He is also survived by numerous beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 12 of his 13 siblings, and son-in-law James Joseph DeCleene.
A service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 11, 2023, with visitation beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Chapel, Hancock. Burial will be in the Liminga Cemetery immediately following. Memorial donations may be made to Little Brothers – Friends of Elderly, Hancock.
Special thanks to the staff at Portage Pointe, especially Pewabic House, where Ray’s beloved Juliana resides and where he spent his final days.
To view Ray’s obituary or to send condolences to the family please visit www.memorialchapel.net
The Memorial Chapel Funeral & Cremation Service – Hancock Chapel is assisting the family with the arrangements.