EBEN JUNCTION, Mich. - Elmer E. Juntunen, age 87, of Eben Junction passed away Sunday, September 23, 2012 at DJ Jacobetti Center in Marquette where he had been a resident since 2007; having spent a lifetime faithfully serving his Lord, his nation, his family, and community.
Elmer was born in Eben Junction on August 23, 1925 to Yalmer and Hilda (Hogan) Juntunen. He attended Eben High School where he held a track record for more than thirty years, and was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, his junior year of school. He served with Company C of the 8th Infantry in the World War II Normandy Campaign in France. In July of 1944, he was wounded while engaged in the European Theatre and was honorably discharged in June of 1945, receiving a Purple Heart medal.
Upon his return home, he graduated with the Eben High School Class of 1947 and along with his brother Eugene, ran their family's dairy farm. On April 15, 1961, Elmer married Aune Koski Vartti of Eben and they had one son, Paul Y. Juntunen born on May 28, 1962. Paul proceeded him in death in November of 2011.
Elmer E. Juntunen
Elmer was an avid hunter, fisherman, and gardener. He and Aune enjoyed traveling and made several trips to Finland where they connected with their relations there. They also enjoyed time at the Juntunen cottage on AuTrain Lake. Their home was a retreat and hospitable place for many, sharing space with the Eben Junction Post Office. Their banquet table witnessed many a story of Juntunen family adventures and escapades, among them the time that Elmer successfully smuggled yellow-skinned potato plants from Finland through airport security in the hollow cavity of his prosthetic leg.
Elmer served on the church council at Calvary Free Lutheran Church where he and Aune worshipped and as treasurer for the Ikkala Brothers VFW Post 9714, of which he was a lifetime member.
Survivors include his wife, Aune, of Eben Junction; step-grandchildren, Geannett (Blayne) Merek of Ishpeming and James Anderson of Abrams, WI; sisters, Eva VanHorn of Pinetop, Arizona; Nancy (Robert) Ranta of Gwinn; Marie (Donald) Hakkola of Eben Junction; sisters-in-law, Aili Peach of Nashville, Tennessee; Alma Luoma of Spring Hill, Florida; and Arlene Keskimaki of Gwinn as well as numerous nieces and nephews and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, son, sister Beatrice Ronn and brother Eugene Juntunen.
Services will be held on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at the Calvary Free Lutheran Church in Eben. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Pastor Tom Schierkolk will conduct Elmer's funeral service at 1:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Chatham where American Legion, Vietnam Veterans, and Ikkala Brothers V.F.W. Honor Guards will conduct military honors. In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to the Calvary Free Lutheran Church. Elmer's obituary and guest book may be viewed and signed at www.bowermanfuneralhome.net