George Rudolph Thurner

LAURIUM — George Rudolph Thurner, W8FWG, of 225 Kearsarge St., Laurium passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, after a short illness.

He was born November 5, 1934, in Laurium, Michigan. He was predeceased by his parents Joseph and Frances (Dumke) Thurner, a sister Elizabeth Thurner, a sister Helen, (Alfred) Messner, five brothers, Arthur (Virginia K.), Alfred, Frank (Rhoda) Thurner, Henry (Katherine) Thurner, Charles (Ann) Thurner, sister-in-law Lennita (Harms) Thurner, a stillborn male child in September 1927, and his first wife, Virginia (nee Goulette) Plute Thurner.

He is survived by a sister-in-law, Ann Thurner, four step-children from his first marriage: Virginia K. Miracle, David L. (Gail) Plute, Cheryl A. Plute, Donna M. (Mark) Simmons, 12 step-grandchildren, 19 step-great-grandchildren, and a sister-in-law, Mary Harju.

He recently married his “Angel”, Antonia June Burich KE8SMB, on June 3, 2023, to which he pursued for ten years. Antonia survives him along with a sister-in-law Colleen (Dennis-passed in 2019) Fritcher, a (brother-in-law Myles-passed in 2020) Rose Burich, a brother-in-law Craig (Sue) Burich, a brother-in-law Blake (Pink “Lori”) Burich, a brother-in-law Kent (Deneen) Burich, a foster sister-in-law Carol Jean Koski, a (foster sister-in-law Theresa Ball Meyers Green-passed 2023) and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a plethora of HAM Friends of which Jeff Stricker W9GY was recent best man, along with many close friends and work pals.

He was a former member of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Laurium for 43 years, serving as a deacon and in 1993 became a member of the Sacred Heart Church of The Keweenaw Catholic Community in Calumet, serving as an usher and money counter for many years. He was employed by Michigan Bell Telephone Co. and was a member of the Communications Workers of America Union, Local 4024, he worked in the Calumet-Laurium, Keweenaw, Hancock-Houghton area for 39 years, retiring in 1994. He was a member of the Telecom Pioneers of America. He attended the elementary schools of Calumet, Morrison and Washington, Calumet High School, graduating with the class of 1952, and entered Michigan Technological University, majoring in electrical engineering.

His parents owned and operated Thurner’s Quality Bakery in Calumet, where at the age of 5, George started working by sweeping the floors. He was an avid amateur radio enthusiast, “HAM”, since August 3, 1960, holding the call sign of W8FWG. Do not delay, become a “HAM” today! He belonged to the American Radio Relay League, and was a member of the Keweenaw County Repeater Association, the Copper Country Radio Amateur Association, the Superior Amateur Radio Association of Ontonagon, the Baraga County Repeater Association, and was an honorary life member of the Husky Amateur Radio Club of Michigan Tech. He was a member of the Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT). He was a member of the United Hearts of Jesus & Mary Rosary Group and enjoyed his life to its fullest.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, George wishes you to contribute to a new local non-profit for Homeless Military Veterans called, “SOLDIER SALVATION” c/o Range Bank Calumet, MI 49913. A Mass of Christian rite will take place on Monday, December 4,2023 at 11 am, with a viewing prior to service, from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., at the Sacred Heart Church located at 56512 Rockland St. Calumet MI, with Fr. Gracious Pulimoottil, officiating. A pot-luck luncheon is to follow. Burial will take place in the Lakeview Cemetery of Calumet Section 35.