ISHPEMING TWP., MI. - Ernest John Rajala, age 88 of 230 N. Pansy St. Ishpeming passed away Friday, January 3, 2014 at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette where he been a resident for one week.
Ernest was born February 5, 1925 in Ishpeming to John & Marie (Lummuka) Rajala. He attended the West Ishpeming School. At the age of 16 Ernie worked as a laborer for an area contractor and over the years he built many houses in the Ishpeming area.
Ernie had many occupations as a young man, including stacking ice blocks in an ice house on Mud Lake, worked with his father at Robbins Flooring Mill and did logging for Otti Ollila and Sulo Kivela, North of Ishpeming.
Ernie started work at the Moss Mine in January 1943 and worked there till April of 1943 when he entered the U.S. Army during World War II. He served in the South Pacific as an artillery-prime mover- Gunner. He trained in California then to New Caledonia (Coast of Australia) joining the Americal Division in the Solomon Island in the Philippines.
Following his Honorable Discharge in 1946 he worked a number of different small jobs until he started at the Mather Mine. He worked at many of the area mines including Cliffs Shaft, Ohio Mine, Humboldt Mine and retired as a plant repairman in 1987 from the Tilden Mine. His hobbies include carpentry, wood carving, fishing, camping and traveling. He also was a member of the West Ishpeming Window Smashers baseball team for many years.
Ernie is survived by 4 children: Karen (Robert) Katajamaki of Ishpeming, Eugene (Dorothy) Rajala of Edmonton, KY, Gregory (Jennifer) Rajala of Ishpeming and Carol (William) Erkkila of Three Lakes, sons in law Donald Booker of Ishpeming, a sister Janet (James) Poirier of Clawson, MI, a brother Jim (Faith) Rajala of Ishpeming, 9 grandchildren, 6 1/2 great grandchildren along with nieces and nephews.
Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, wife Gladys (Poirier) Rajala and a daughter Lynn Booker.
Ernie's family will greet relatives and friends from 12:00 noon- 2:00 pm on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at the Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home in Ishpeming where Military Honors will be accorded at 2:00 pm by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 380.
Memorial considerations may be directed to the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans Activity Fund in memory of Ernie Rajala.
Ernie's obituary may be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie .com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.