TRENARY, MI. - Walter W. Savola, age 85, of Trenary died, surrounded by his loving family, early Saturday morning, May 3, 2014 at the Tendercare Health Center in Munising.
He was born on May 7, 1928 in Trenary, Michigan, the first of eleven children to William and Gertrude (Elloma) Savola. Walt worked on his family's farm for many years, until 1950 when he entered into the United States Army. He served in the Korean War in the 17th Infantry Regiment. Walt was honorably discharged on June 27, 1952 as a Corporal and was awarded the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars. He married Betty Jean Lockhart on September 18, 1954, and together they raised their three daughters. Work brought the two of them to Detroit for a short time, until the longing for the U.P. brought them home. Walt worked at the Olson Garage in Marquette as a mechanic, until he was approached by the Alger County Road Commission. He served the county for 34 years as a mechanic and road foreman until his retirement in 1990.
Walt and Betty took many wonderful trips together, traveling across Europe, Canada, and hitting 44 of our 50 states. He enjoyed tinkering in his garage, especially on tractors, he was known as "Mr. Fix It." He also enjoyed vegetable gardening, taking a sauna two to three times a week, and the special way he had with all animals. Walt was a proud member of the Ikkala Brother VFW Post 9714 for over 50 years, and the American Legion. Above all, Walt adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the time he could spend with them.
He is survived by wife of nearly 60 years - Betty Savola of Trenary; three daughters - Lynn (Bill) Hawley of Chatham, Cathy (Alex) Freberg of Chatham, and Colleen McLachlan of Munising; grandchildren - Jeremy (Terri) Savola, Derek (Kim) Hawley, Taylor Dandron, Ashley (Mike) Johnson, Alexander Freberg, Vanessa Freberg, Brittany (Mike) Rockhill, and Jade (Anna) McLachlan; great-grandchildren - Kaylee, Evan, Dylan, Jada, Riley, Samantha, Finn, Hunter, Hayden, Hudson, Scarlette, and one more on the way; sisters Eleanor (Jerry) Paterick, Nancy (Bob) Zelloe, Irma (Matt) Lesneski, Arlene Shaw, and Sally (Pat) Mullaly; brothers - Leroy and Arthur Savola; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Walt was preceded in death by his parents William and Gertrude, and sisters Lila (Vernon) Pischel, Norma Viau, and Lillian (Henry) Trotter.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at the Bowerman Funeral Home in Munising from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m., and also on Thursday, May 8 at the First Lutheran Church in Trenary from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. Pastor Allan Johnson will conduct Walt's funeral at the church beginning at 2:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Mathias Township Cemetery where the American Legion, Vietnam Veteran, and VFW Honor Guard will conduct military honors. Walt will be escorted by his grandsons: Taylor Dandron, Jeremy Savola, Jade McLachlan, Derek Hawley, and Alexander Freberg, and nephew John Timonen.
Walt's family would like to give a special thanks to the professional and caring staff at Tendercare.
Walt's obituary and guestbook may be viewed and signed at bowermanfuneral home.net.