Thomas Edward Heinonen

Thomas Heinonen

TRENARY, MI – Thomas Edward Heinonen, 85, died peacefully at his home in Trenary, Michigan on Tuesday morning September 12th surrounded by his family. He was born on August 1st, 1933 in Hancock, Michigan to George and Hannah (Naasko) Heinonen, and raised in Ironwood, Michigan. He attended Gogebic Community College and in 1956 married his wife of 60 years, Audrey Virginia Daavettila, in Zion IL.

Tom graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1956 and they began their family. He received a Master of Social Work from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1961, and became a social worker at Newberry State Hospital. He and Audrey later returned to lower Michigan where he pursued a Master of Public Health from University of Michigan. Tom graduated there in June of 1964, and he enjoyed recounting the ceremony in which President Lyndon Johnson gave the Great Society speech following the assassination of President Kennedy. They returned to the Upper Peninsula where he helped to establish a field office in Marquette for the aftercare of Newberry State Hospital patients, became a casework supervisor at the Child Guidance Clinic in Marquette, and later Chief of Social Work in individual, group and family therapy at the Marquette-Alger-Delta Community Mental Health Compact.

The family moved to their farm in Trenary in December 1971 and remained there to raise their six children. He left Marquette to work as the Associate Director of Clinical Services at the George Maniaci Center in Escanaba where, in addition to individual and group therapy, he provided counseling to schools, hospitals, correctional facilities, and other social services. He became a Board Certified Diplomate (BCD) in Social Work and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the college of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. During this time he and Audrey purchased the Red Owl store in Trenary.

In 1985 Tom became the Director of Behavioral Science for Family Care Doctors in Marquette. While there he also pursued his interest in medical ethics and clinical hypnosis, and began discussions with community and hospital members which led to the establishment of the Family Care doctors office in the Trenary Community Building. Tom retired in 1993, worked in private practice, served as social worker to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and as adjunct professor of sociology at Finlandia University. Tom enjoyed all things Finnish. He was a member of Finlandia University’s Finnish Council, was fluent in Finnish history and language, and traveled to Finland as a representative of Finland’s Expatriat Parliament. He wanted to go back almost as soon as he returned from his trips there.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Audrey in 2016 and grandson Dylan in 2015. He is remembered lovingly by his six children; Dan (Kelly) Heinonen, David (Maureen), Kathleen, and Kenneth of Trenary, John (Trish) of Seattle, Washington and Andrew of Gwinn, Michigan, grandchildren Hannah, Emma, Justin, Mark, Karl, and Joseph; and a great grandchildren Jack, Ben and Ailee; His sisters Janet (Dennis) Hietala of South Range, Carole (special brother-in-law Phil) Ryynanen of Keweenaw Bay, and Mary (John) Hannus of Plymouth, MN, his aunt Ruth (Walt) Maki of Hancock, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family will greet friends and relatives on Sunday, September 16, 2018 from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the Apostolic Lutheran Church (1700 U.S. 41) in Ishpeming and also on Monday at the church from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. Roger Kangas will conduct Tom’s funeral service at the church at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, September 17, 2018. A time of fellowship will follow the funeral service. Graveside services will be held at the Mathias Township Cemetery in Trenary on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

Tom’s obituary and online guestbook may be found at