TAPIOLA, Mich. - Leon Herman Kallungi, 86, died Thursday morning December 13, 2012, at the Portage Pointe Nursing Center in Hancock, Michigan.
Leon Kallungi of 17920 Kallungi Road in Tapiola, was born on June 6, 1926. He was a 1944 graduate of the John A. Doelle High School in Tapiola.
Leon worked for a short time in Detroit after graduation from high school. He was employed also with Stella Cheese Co. in Baltic. Later, he would drive bus for the Portage Township Schools.
Leon married Edith Maki on September 8, 1951, and was an active partner with his wife in farming for fifty years. In 1984, he along with his wife, received the "Master Farmers of the Year" award presented by the Houghton County Agricultural Society.
He was also on the board of the American Dairy Association of Michigan and the Michigan Dairy Council. He was president of the Copper Country Dairy Board for many years. He loved the Upper Peninsula and was a popular and lively member of the Tapiola community. He was a founding father of the Portage lake Little League Baseball program as well as instrumental in organizing several 4-H cattle and horse clubs.
Leon was a member of Mission United Lutheran Church in Pelkie. In these later years, he and his wife were fixtures at Houghton High School girls and Michigan Tech women's basketball games. He was a lifelong Detroit Tigers baseball, Detroit Red Wings hockey and Detroit Lions football fan.
Leon was a devoted husband and father. He loved his family, always smiling in the presence of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by a son, Steve (Jan) of Tapiola; two daughters, Diana Herington of Beaumont, Calif., and Luanne (Thomas) Skrenes of Ishpeming; nine grandsons, Gregory (Kelly) Kallungi, Anders (Laurie) Kallungi, Gabriel Kallungi, Brent (Amanda, fiancee) Herington, Blake (Alicia, fiancee) Herington, Jeremy (Kristen) Skrenes, Jeffrey Skrenes, David Skrenes and Aaron Skrenes; two great-granddaughters, Allison Kallungi and Hannah Kallungi; and two great-grandsons, Luke Skrenes and Paul Skrenes.
He is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Elaine (James) Weiland and Jean (Arvi) Jukkala; an aunt, Ruth Peltoma; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Edith; his parents, Herman Isaac and Annie Marie Kallungi; a grandson, Bradley Kallungi; a son-in-law, Dennis Sibilsky; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Edward and Bernice Maki; and a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ruth and Fred Kinnunen.
A service of thanksgiving for the life of Leon Kallungi will be held at the Mission United Lutheran Church in Pelkie at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 17, 2012.
Friends are invited to visit the family at the Mountain View Mortuary in South Range on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Monday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will be at the Elo Cemetery. Memorials may be made in his memory to the Mission United Lutheran Church in Pelkie. Thanks be to God for the life of Leon Kallungi.
Arrangements are being handled by the Mountain View Mortuary of South Range, Antila Funeral Service, Inc. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at antilafuneral.com