NEGAUNEE, MI – Tarmo Francis Savolainen, 93, of Negaunee, MI, peacefully entered eternal life on January 7, 2019 at the Eastwood Nursing Center. His heavenly reunion with his wife, Bertha took place on a special day, their wedding anniversary.
Tarmo was born November 15, 1925 in Negaunee to Tobias and Hilda (Albrecht) Savolainen. He was always proud of his birthday that marked the opening day of deer season.
Tarmo attended Negaunee High School before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was stationed on the USS Coronis, an ARL-10 landing repair ship that assisted in the invasion of Okinawa. Tarmo would use his charm and self-taught musical ability to entertain upon the ship. He frequently told a unique story about a connection and unique trade that was agreed upon during that time. It was said that Tarmo had met Charles Atlas, and Atlas wanted Tarmo to teach him the guitar, in return for personal training. However, fate would lead them in different directions.
Whether it was his family, friends, or co-workers, Tarmo always put other people first. As a dedicated “Miner” he retired from Cleveland Cliffs in 1986 and was a strong union man who served as the grievance chairman. He took his work seriously and ensured he was among the last few men to exit the Mather B mine at its closing to ensure his men were safe.
Tarmo was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, VA Romo Post #3165, Negaunee V.F.W., Negaunee Historical Society, and the Confederation of Musicians Union.
His hobbies were widespread and they were a big reason why everyone enjoyed his company. After teaching himself to play the guitar at 12 years old, he was a staple in many local bands and often strummed endlessly on the banjo, mandolin, and mandola. Aside from music, Tarmo could be described as a Christian, family man, hunter, fisherman, babysitter, lover of Camp Little Mike, blueberry picker, a loyal Detroit sports and Negaunee Miner fan, and teacher of everything. He devoted much of his time as a caregiver to his late-wife, Bertha, and has always been a beloved influence in the lives of his children and grandchildren.
Tarmo is survived by his children, John (Sue) Savolainen, Jonelle (Mike) Riley, George (Debbie Leiviska) Savolainen, Karen (Marty) Saari, and Brian (Lynn Mileski) Savolainen. His grandchildren include Brandon (Teresa) Sundberg, Gena (Mark) Johnson, Peter (Alicia) Savolainen, Tom Savolainen, Greg Savolainen, Kyle (Lisa) Saari, and Amelia (Bryan) Frederickson. Tarmo is also survived by great-grandchildren: Zachary Johnson, Annah Johnson, Sam Sundberg, Rolan Sundberg, Olli Savolainen, Sami Savolainen, Easton Saari, and baby Saari. Tarmo loved each of his numerous nieces, nephews, and his brother-in-law, Eino Kangas.
In eternal life, Tarmo is united with his wife Bertha, parents Hilda and Tobias, brothers Toivo and Taito Savolainen, and sisters Aili Crowley, Elizabeth Kevern, and Anna Savolainen
As a resident at Eastwood Nursing Center in Negaunee since 2010, he and his family are grateful for the comfort and care they had provided. We are grateful for the tenderness of Pastor Steve Solberg, who helped guide Tarmo into his final resting place with the Lord.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm on Friday, January 11th at Immanuel Lutheran Church with Rev. Steven Solberg officiating. Burial will be in the Negaunee Cemetery. The family will greet relatives and friends from 11:00 am until the time of services at 1:00 pm on Friday, and also at a luncheon in the fellowship hall following services. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed in Tarmo’s memory to Eastwood Nursing Center or Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Tarmo’s memorial page may be viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com, where memories and condolences may be shared.