REPUBLIC, Mich. - Clarence "Chubby" Antilla, age 83, of 6237 Hickory Dr., Republic, passed away on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, at the D. J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, Marquette, Mich., where he lived for the last 3 1/2 years.
Clarence was raised and lived in Republic, Michigan. He was born on March 28, 1929 in Ishpeming to Arthur and Toini Antilla. He graduated from Republic High School in 1947. At a young age he worked for his father, Arthur Antilla, learning how to cut and peel pulp and he soon became a "good man in the woods." He joined the U.S. Army and served from 1948 to 1952, before and during the Korean War, achieving the rank of Sergeant First Class. A highlight of his life was being chosen to play second base in the 1949 Army All-Star Game held in the Lou Gehrig Stadium in Yokohama, Japan. Clarence said it was like playing in a Major League game, as there were 35,000 people in the stands. He was thrilled to hit a double and hear the roar of the crowd. After returning home he resumed work in the woods, and, for a short time at Marquette Mountain Ski Hill, once saving a young boy who was twisted in a towrope near the machinery. He married LaVerne Rankinen on March 28, 1959, and they raised four children. Clarence worked for Lindberg and Sons for about a year. He spent the rest of his hard-working life in the woods, driving his pulp truck, cutting trees and Christmas trees. He enjoyed working outdoors in the different seasons.
After his retirement Clarence and LaVerne took daily rides on the Michigamme River Road, watching for wildlife and counting turtles on their favorite log - the record was five. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren. He also enjoyed spending time with his dogs, Mica and Daisy, and watching the Cubs.
Clarence Arthur ‘Chubby’ Antilla
Survivors include: his wife LaVerne, two sons and two daughters, Dean (Melanie) of Kalamazoo, MI; Carrie Antilla of Republic, Christina (David) Depkon of Park Ridge, IL; and Jon (Jun) of Tampa, FL. Grandchildren Brandy (Ryan) Mahler, Dani Antilla, Katie, Andrew and Mary Depkon, Lily and Isabel Antilla and step-grand children Hannah and Aimee Wallace. Brothers Oscar (Joan) Antilla and Charles Antilla; sisters Doris Plankey, Lorraine (Robert) Zimmerman and Gloria (Robert) Erwin. There are numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. Clarence was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Elvie Mattila, Dorothy Gatteri and Ruth Koski.
The memorial funeral service will be held at Bethany Lutheran Church of Republic on Saturday, September 1, at 2:00 p.m., officiating Rev. Doug Norquist, with a greeting hour beginning at 1:00 p.m. The funeral luncheon will be in the church basement following the service.
The family wishes to thank the staff of The Jacobetti Home for Veterans for their care and comfort of Clarence during his stay there and appreciate the medical care offered by the Veterans Administration to all veterans, wherever they may be.
Clarence's obituary may also be viewed at www.bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.