TRENARY, MI – Louis F. Praznik, age 93, of Trenary, died late Thursday evening, November 2, 2017 at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living in Marquette under the loving care of his family and U.P. Home Health & Hospice.
He was born on May 10, 1924 in Hibbing, MN to Frank and Josephine (Mihelich) Praznik. Louis grew up on the family farm in Trenary and graduated from Trenary High School. On March 19, 1943, he entered into the U.S. Army and was trained on air compressors. He served stateside and before he was sent to Europe, he married Aili Elizabeth Salminen on September 30, 1944.
Louis was involved in battles and campaigns in Northern France, Central Europe, Rhineland, and Ardennes. On the morning of the Battle of the Bulge, Louis was separated from the 106th Infantry Division while tending to his truck. While under German attack, his division saw his truck blown up just prior to their capture. Louis was MIA and wandered and hid through the German countryside until repatriated with troops. During that time, Aili knew in her heart that he would come home. He was discharged on November 11, 1945 with the Good Conduct, WWII Victory, and American Campaign Medals and the EAME Ribbon with four bronze battle stars.
Louis returned home to Aili and they began raising their family. He drove a milk truck and worked for Trudeau’s Plumbing and Heating. They moved to Redford Township where Louis went to work for Caloia Plumbing and Heating. They were members of Lola Park Evangelical Lutheran Church and he enjoyed bowling, hunting, and fishing. At age sixty-two, he retired and returned home to Trenary where he was a member of St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Rapid River and the Ikkala Brothers V.F.W. Post. Louis loved having his family with him and he and Aili were a beautiful and loving couple.
He is survived by his wife of over seventy- three years – Aili Praznik of Trenary; their children – Doriine (Kirby) Adkins of Keyser, WV, Louis (Gail) Praznik of Marquette, Lorrie (John) Osentoski of Cass City, MI, Robert (Jill) Praznik of Richland, WA, Richard Praznik of Westland, MI, and Jack (Kathy) Praznik of Lebanon, MO; thirteen grandchildren – Christine, Brad, Lisa, Kyle, Kelli, Olivia, Sally, Angie, Ashley, Felicia, Levi, Dallas, and Nash; numerous great grandchildren with one more on the way; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Louis was preceded in death by his parents, sister Josephine (Frank) Debelak, and brother Frank (Margie) Praznik.
Services will be held at the Sion Lutheran Church in Chatham on Friday, November 10, 2017. Visitation will from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Rev. Phil Paustian of St. Martin’s Lutheran Church will conduct his funeral service at 1:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Pine Grove Cemetery where members of the V.F.W and American Legion and Vietnam Veterans Honor Guards will conduct military honors.
Suggested memorials in his Louis should be made to U.P. Home Health and Hospice, 1125 W. Ridge Street, Marquette, MI 49855.
His completed obituary and online guestbook may be viewed and signed at bowermanfuneralhome.net.