Richard P. Kerkela

Richard P. Kerkela

REPUBLIC, MI – Richard Paul ‘Rick’ Kerkela, 74, of Hemlock St., Republic, passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon, February 11, 2018 at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans with his loving family at his side.

Rick was born May 31, 1943 in Negaunee to Waino and Hilma (Maki) Kerkela and graduated from Republic-Michigamme High School, Class of 1962. Following graduation, he served in the United States Army from 1963 until 1966.

He loved life, his family and friends, grandchildren, the outdoors, camp, fishing, Pinochle, Chinese checkers, the Detroit Tigers, music, the wave pool, lying in a creek, and feeding the birds. He liked his truck and loved driving on questionable roads. He was frequently ‘lost’ until his passenger(s) could figure out the ruse. It was an honor to know him and be part of his life. Words cannot describe what an amazing person he was. He said, “only be sad for a little while, then live a happy life.”

Memorial services will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 17th at St. Augustine Catholic Church, Republic, with Sister Margey Schmelzle officiating.

The family will greet relatives and friends for one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday, and also at a luncheon in the church fellowship hall immediately following services.

Mr. Kerkela’s memorial page may be viewed at, where memories and condolences may be shared.