HARVEY, MI. - Fred D. Potvin, 85, of 149 Lakewood Lane, Harvey, died peacefully at his home on Monday, September 23, 2013 in the presence of his loving family and under the care of Lake Superior Hospice.
Fred was born on April 21, 1928 in Gladstone to Douglas and Alda (Smythe) Potvin. As an infant Fred moved with his family to Iron Mountain where he lived until the age of six, at which time his family moved to Ishpeming where he grew up, went to school and played football.
At age 15, Fred began his truck-driving career, driving the local beer truck run. In his senior year of high school in 1945, Fred joined the U.S. Army. After VJ Day, he took a discharge and went back to truck driving for Clairmont Transfer Co. In 1950 Fred was called back to serve his country in Korea where he fought North Korea and China with the 5th Regimental Combat Team. In 1952 Fred was honorably discharged. He then moved back to Marquette and worked for Clairmont Transfer again as an over-the-road tractor/trailer driver.
On September 11, 1954, Fred married Rita Voet in St. Peter's Cathedral. They lived in the city of Marquette until 1960 when they moved to Lakewood. Fred and Rita were one of the first people to live on Lakewood Lane year-round.
Fred drove truck 26 years and then became dispatcher in town for 14 years. At 56 years of age, he then went to work for Elliot Sheet Metal until his retirement in 1990.
Fred enjoyed the outdoors especially camping, swimming and fishing. He was a "handy guy" who could build and fix most things. He also very much enjoyed time spent with family, friends and neighbors. Fred was tougher than nails, but very easy going and humorous.
Fred is survived by his wife of 59 years, Rita; daughters, Michele (Robert) Roberge of Iron Mountain, Paula Myers of Merritt Island, FL, Suzette (Shawn) Robinson of Cadillac; a son, James Potvin of Skandia. Fred is also survived by grandchildren, Dr. Matthew (Kristy) Roberge, Jesse Roberge, Derek Jatz, Jessica Jatz, Jacob Potvin; great grandchildren, Elijah and Johnathan Roberge, and Max Jatz; a sister, Karen (Jack) Dooley; also several sisters and brothers-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding Fred in death besides his parents was a brother, Don C. Potvin; his in-laws, "Rip" and Marie Voet as well as numerous brothers and sisters-in-law.
Fred was a member of the Teamsters and the Lakewood Cottagers Association.
A private ceremony will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Lake Superior Hospice Association, 914 W. Baraga Ave., Marquette, MI 49855.
The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting the family where memories may be shared at canalefuneral .com