MARQUETTE, Mich. - Raymond William Liubakka, age 80, of 402 Lost Creek Drive, Marquette, and resident of the Jacobetti Home for Veterans, entered eternal life Wednesday morning, May 16, 2012, at Marquette General Hospital, in the loving care of his family.
Born November 19, 1931, in Negaunee, a son of William and Ina (Mahlanen) Liubakka, Ray was raised in Negaunee until the age of 12 when his family moved to the family farm in Skandia. Ray left school before graduating and was drafted into the US Army for two years during the Korean Conflict. He would later complete his high school requirements, receiving his GED from Marquette Senior High School in 1974. Upon his honorable discharge from the military in 1954, Ray returned to the area and married the former Viola M. Langson on August 14, 1954. They made their first home on the farm in Skandia, in the residence Ray built. It was here they started their family, later moving to Marquette's Trowbridge Park area when the children were young. Ray was employed with the Cliff Dow Chemical Company, while at the same time driving cab and working as a roofer for Montgomery Ward and independently. He then began what would become a 30 year career with the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company. Ray worked in the underground mines at the Mather B until its closure and then was transferred to the Empire Mine, advancing to the position of carpenter. He retired in 1996. Although they lived in various locations, Ray and Viola's hearts were always drawn to Negaunee where they purchased an old farmhouse in 1989 and made extensive renovations. They resided in the home, located in the Buffalo Location, for over 20 years before moving to Marquette's Lost Creek area. Ray was not only a gifted and accomplished carpenter, but also a man of faith.
A committed Christian, he followed in the steps of his Master, the Master Carpenter. For seven years, following his retirement, Ray and Viola traveled extensively with the church group MAPS, helping with building projects at churches and non-profit organizations. His church leadership roles extended locally also. Ray and Viola were among the founding members of the Faith Assembly of God on M-28 (now Silver Creek Church) where he served on the Board of Deacons, he was a member in the former Trowbridge Park Chapel, and he was a member and elder of the Marquette Gospel Tabernacle. Ray was currently a member of the Silver Creek Church, Harvey. His other interests centered on spending time with his grandchildren, camping, deer hunting, and doing whatever needed to be done. He loved carpentry work and, throughout the years, assisted his children in building their own homes. He possessed strength of will, determination, conviction, and perseverance, all translating into "a lot of Sisu". In addition to his membership at Silver Creek Church, Ray was also a member of Richard Jopling Post #44 of the American Legion.
Raymond W. Liubakka
A loving husband, father, grandpa, and brother, Ray is survived by his wife of 57 years, Viola; two daughters, Debra (Marvin) Korpi of Skandia and their children, Kristina (Duane) Plattenberg, J.P. (Jamie) Korpi, Zachary (Kelly) Korpi, Edward (Susan) Korpi, William Korpi, and Tiffany (Don) Anderson; Cheryl (Patrick) Nunn of Jasper, IN and their children, Kevin (Sara) Nunn, Justin (Angie) Nunn, Michelle and Eric Nunn; a son, Raymond (Cheri) Liubakka of Harvey and their children, Alyssa, Kimberly, and Katelyn Liubakka; 19 great-grandchildren; a brother, Arthur (Pat) Liubakka of Gwinn; sisters-in-law, Carol Liubakka of Ishpeming and Julia Liubakka of Harvey; many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by a daughter, Gail Marie Liubakka in 1957; his sister and brother-in-law, Violet and Eugene Koski; and brothers, Donald and Kenneth Liubakka.
Friends may call at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home on Sunday from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and at the church on Monday beginning at 12:00 noon. Funeral services celebrating the life of Raymond Liubakka will be held at the Silver Creek Church, 219 Silver Creek Road, Harvey, on Monday, May 21, at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Kevin Taylor officiating and members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 380 rendering veteran's honors. A reception will follow. Burial will be made in the Haglund Cemetery, Skandia. Ray's grandchildren will serve as escorts.
Someone once said, "faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." Ray has gone home...home to the Master Carpenter...home to the mansion prepared for those who love Him.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com