ISHPEMING, Mich. - John P. Honkavaara, age 88, of 205 Seilo Ave., Ishpeming Township, passed away at 4:02 p.m. on Wednesday, December 26, 2012, at the Mather Nursing Center in Ishpeming Township where he had resided for the past 3 weeks.
John was born on November 25, 1924, in Negaunee, MI the son of the late John H. and Inga M. (Aho) Honkavaara. He grew up in Negaunee and was a graduate of the Negaunee High School, Class of 1942. John entered the United States Navy on January 13, 1943. He had served in the Asiatic Pacific Theater on the USS Ticonderoga during World War II. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy on January 28th 1946 he returned to this area. John had worked as a maintenance and repairman at the K.I. Sawyer Air Base and then for the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co. While at Cliffs he worked on the roving crew for many years prior to working as a plant repairman at the Tilden Mine from which he retired.
John was a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church. He truly enjoyed time spent around his children and grandchildren. Pastimes included hunting with his special "pard" Walter Aho along with his wife, carpentry projects, gardening - especially various vegetables, building radio controlled airplanes and boats, and cutting firewood. He was also a member of the NRA, and was a former member of the Negaunee City band and the Negaunee American Legion drum and Bugle Corp in his younger years.
John P. Honkavaara
Survivors include his loving wife of 66 years Lorraine Honk-avaara of Ishpeming, 3 daughters Jean (Robert) Wheeler of Dayton, OH, Katherine (Thomas) Norberg of New Lenox, IL and Lorie Arcand of Negaunee, a son John (Lynn) Honkavaara of Welch, WV, 4 grandchildren Robert Wheeler III, Andrew Wheeler, Lauren Wheeler and Marja Norberg, along with several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister and brother-in-law Julanne and Henry Isabelle, son-in-law Reyn Arcand, infant grandsons David and Daniel Wheeler along with nieces Mary St. Pierre and Julanne Rodda.
The family will greet relatives and friends from 10:00 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 29, 2012, at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Ishpeming. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at the Bethel Lutheran Church with the Rev. Lauri O. Maki to officiate. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #380 will accord military honors at the conclusion of the services. Interment will take place at Northland Chapel Gardens in Negaunee Township. A luncheon will follow the services in the church hall.
John's obituary may also be viewed at www.bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.