HARVEY, Mich. - Raymond W. Salo, age 88, of 148 Little Lake Road, Harvey, passed away Friday morning, June 7, 2013, at his home, in the loving, comforting care of his family and the caregivers of Lake Superior Hospice.
Born March 7, 1925 in Marquette, a son of Charles and Hilma (Jokinen) Salo, Ray was raised in Dukes on the family farm. Orphaned at the age of 13, he went to live with his aunt Mary and at age 16 left to join the Civilian Conservation Corps, misrepresenting his age so that he could be out and about on his own. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and, following his honorable discharge, for a couple of years, worked on the ore boats during the summers and cutting pulp in the winter.
In 1949, he married Marjorie Melka in Marquette and the couple resided in the Ishpeming-Negaunee area for a time before moving to Wayne, Michigan, making their first home in Westland. Marjorie preceded Ray in death in 1971. In 1974, he married Helen Melka Clark, the widowed sister of his first wife. He retired in 1987 following 25 years as a union carpenter and moved to Marquette. He built a home on Little Lake Road with every aspect of the home reflecting his devotion to perfection and simplicity. He was a master craftsman and painstakingly built the home, paying for each section before the next addition was started. Ray never fully retired or stopped working, he just didn't like the idea of not having a job to do. While in Marquette, he was employed with Fisher Acoustical as a carpenter installing ceilings in commercial buildings.
In 1988, Helen preceded him in death and in 1991 he married Anna Polvi who survives him. For Ray, work was his hobby and some of his happiest times were spent at the American Legion Post in Little Lake where he contributed his carpentry skills, was a volunteer with pasty sales, and played cribbage on the post's cribbage league. While his children were young, he took the kids camping, fishing, snowmobiling, and spent time with them at the family camp in Harrison, enjoying the simple pleasures of life. He always attended army reunions, taking children, grandchildren, and friends along until health became an issue. He was extremely generous with his time and talent, volunteered at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans, and belonged to the Forsyth Singers where he added his fine voice to the camaraderie shared with friends. One of the highlights of his life took place last September when he was honored to be included on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.
Ray is survived by his wife, Anna Polvi-Salo of Negaunee; daughters, Cathy (James Coombes) Church of Jonesville and Carol Salo of Harvey; several step-children; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandson, Blake Gaines; and many friends.
In addition to his parents, and wives, Marjorie and Helen, Ray was preceded in death by a son, Charles Albert Salo in 1971; brothers, Waino, Toivo, and Arvid Salo; sisters, Tyle (Al) Krumwiedie, Ellen (Waino) Salminen, Aili (Laurie) Maki, Vienna (Woodrow) Yount, Esther Lillian (Jorma) Hill, and Sylvia (Eino) Laine.
Ray requested that there be no services. However, his life was too well lived to not celebrate. So, on Sunday, June 16, Father's Day, family and friends will gather at American Legion Post 349 in Little Lake at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate and honor Ray's life and achievements. Veteran's honors will be accorded by the post's honor guard and a reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Lake Superior Hospice or UP Honor Flight.
The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com.