HURLEY, Wis. - Roland R. Bekkala, age 86, of Hurley, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, in Marquette.
He was born May 20, 1926, in Ahmeek, son of the late Raymond and Lydia (Salonen) Bekkala. Roland was raised in the Ahmeek/Laurium area, attending schools there. As a young man, he worked for a bakery and a dairy.
In 1944, Roland entered the military, serving in the U.S. Army for the next 23 years. Roland was very dedicated to his country and was proud of his military career. He often talked about all the places he'd been at home and overseas and the fact that he'd served in three wars.
While in the military, he finished his schooling and finished a course in finance and accounting procedures, which he was able to use working for the military. After his retirement, he worked for Prudential/Bache on Wall Street.
In Sept. 1951, he was married to the love of his life, Marion P. Darby in Brooklyn, NY. They made their home there and in Scranton Island, NY. Roland was very close to Marion's family, "The Darby Clan" and often spoke of them with fondness.
After retirement, they built a chalet in Pocono Farms, Penn. where they lived until Marion's death in June, 1996. Roland then moved to Hurley to be closer to his family and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Roland is survived by two brothers, Roy (Paulette) Bekkala of Ironwood and Art Bekkala of Spokane, Wash.; two sisters, Lucille (Paul) Puuri of White Pine and Lenore (Don) Carlson of Brighton, Mich.; a sister-in-law, Margaret Darby; several nieces and nephews on both the Bekkala and Darby sides of the family, including a special niece, Peggy (Dave) Boshen.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Mary Lou Bekkala.
At Roland's request, cremation has taken place at the Range Crematory in Hurley. Interment will be in Fairview Memorial Park in Elmhurst, Penn. with his wife, Marion.
The family would like to thank Sky View Nursing and staff in Hurley for the wonderful care Roland received during the last year of his life. He was very happy there.
Arrangements are by Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Ketola-Burla Funeral Home, Ironwood, Mich.