Louis Leonard Laurich
MARQUETTE, MI – On July 10, 2019, at age 97, Louis Leonard Laurich passed from this life at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans.
Born in Big Bay, Louie was one of 11 children of John and Frederika Laurich. He spent his youth working on the family farm, then, like many of his brothers, became a logger in the Big Bay woods.
He enlisted in the Army, serving honorably during World War II, mostly in the Philippine Islands. When he returned from the War, he met Sharon Johnston working at her father’s store, Doc’s Delicatessen. They married and began their family life in Trowbridge Park until their ninth child was born and Louie realized they needed a bigger home with more than one bathroom. In 1971, Louie and his family built their new home in Harvey, where he lived until moving to the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans two months ago.
Louie was raised with a strong work ethic that he exhibited his entire life. After marrying, he took a job with the Soo Line Railroad, working on the lower harbor ore dock for decades, until it closed down. He spent the last years of his working life driving a school bus for the Marquette Public School systems; and, after raising nine children, he definitely knew how to handle a bus full of rambunctious kids. No one got away with disrupting Louie’s bus.
Louie was generally a quiet man, possessing an inner strength and confidence in himself. He encouraged his children to be independent and stick up for themselves. Though money was scarce, he always managed to provide for his family. Family outings often were fun picnics and swimming excursions to McCarty’s Cove, The Island, Forestville, the Dead River Basin, Big Bay, the Yellow Dog River and of course the children’s favorite outing, ice cream from Tastee Freeze.
When grandchildren and great-grandchildren came along, Louie found great joy in spending time with them. Being a grandparent allowed him the luxury of simply enjoying fun with the little ones without all the responsibilities.
May 1, 2013 was a special day, as Louie took part in an Upper Peninsula Honor Flight to Washington D.C., visiting historical sites all around our nation’s capital, while being honored for his military service. It was an experience he would treasure.
Louis was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, wife; Sharon (Johnston), and daughter Laurel (Wallace).
He is survived by his remaining children: Deborah Laurich, Pamela (Paul) Laurich Polione, Susan (Alton) Henderson, David (Gina) Laurich, Paul (Kelly) Laurich, Carol (Dale) Pelkola, Barbara Laurich, and Diane (Dave) Ziegner. His grandchildren: Crystal (Ricky), Brad, Jared, Andy (Amy), Mike (Michelle), Katie, Amanda (Zac), Louis, Holly, Molly, Morgan, Kristen, Corey, Chad, Eliane and Josef. His great-grandchildren: Ashleigh, Ricky, Christopher, James, Matthew, Sophie, Croix and Addison. Louie was also blessed with more grandchildren who joined his family through marriage: Derek, Tiffany and her four children, Cooper, and Freya.
Louis’s family extends gratitude and heartfelt thanks to the exceptional staff at D.J. Jacobetti Veteran’s Home for the care they provided him during his stay. We are forever grateful for their kindness and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, if desired, memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association of Marquette, or the Activity Fund at D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans would be gratefully appreciated.
The family will receive relatives and friends at St. Louis the King Catholic Church, in Harvey, on Thursday, July 18 at 10:00 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., with Rev. Glenn Theoret, pastor, as celebrant. A luncheon reception will follow in Father Gauthier Hall. Military flag folding ceremony and interment will be made in the Park Cemetery where he will rest beside Sharon, his wife of 64 years.
The Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderswan sonhansen.com.