Elmer ‘Bud’ A. Bessonen

Elmer Bessonen

ESCANABA, MI – Elmer “Bud” A. Bessonen, age 84, of Escanaba, passed away Thursday, December 1, 2022 at his home in Escanaba. On February 2, 1938, a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Elmer A. Bessonen of Allouez, MI. He was named Elmer A. Bessonen, Jr. (aka Bud Bessonen). In 1942, the family moved to Escanaba where his father was employed as a Soils Engineer for the Michigan State Highway Department. Bud attended school in Escanaba and graduated from high school in 1956. After high school, he attended Michigan State University, graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. In 1960, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve serving with the 312th Engineering Company in Escanaba. He was called to active duty in March of 1961 and served until August of 1962. Bud served at Ft. Knox, KY, Ft. Riley, KS, and Granite City, IL Supply Depot. Following his military service, he was employed by the Michigan State Highway Department as a right-of-way buyer and as a relocation specialist.

Bud married the former Florence Irene Myllyla in July of 1964 in Hancock, MI. They had a son, Erik, born in May of 1968. In 1968, the family moved from East Lansing to Escanaba where Bud was employed by Art Goulais Real Estate as a realtor and appraiser until 1974. He and Gerald Peltz formed Heritage Real Estate in 1974. Bud was designated as a Senior Residential Appraiser by the Appraisal Institute, a nationally recognized real estate appraisal association. During his lifetime, he was an active member of the Boy Scouts of America, the MSU Alumni Association, Bethany Lutheran Church of Escanaba, and the Delta County Historical Society. He served on numerous boards as a volunteer. His interests included the Eskymo Fan Club, Escanaba High School sports, hunting, Little League Baseball, and attending events involving his grandchildren. Bud enjoyed studying the Finnish language and made two trips to Finland to visit friends and relatives.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Florence Bessonen; son, Erik (Kim) Bessonen; grandson, David Laughbaum; and granddaughter, Rachel Bessonen.

In addition to his parents, Bud was preceded in death by his sisters, Katherine Aho and Eleanor Pearce; brother, Lawrence Bessonen; in-laws, Wesley and Lempi Myllyla; brothers-in-law, Melvin, Dennis, and Kenneth Myllyla; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

The Bessonen family is very grateful for the excellent care provided by the OSF Home Health and Hospice personnel for Bud during the last few weeks while at home and all of the health care workers before that. Finally, in Finnish “Siin– Kaikki Jokainen” (that’s all everyone).

Visitation will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Bud will follow at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, with Rev. Lily Brondyke officiating. Military Honors will be conducted at the conclusion of the services. A luncheon will be served afterward in the church fellowship hall. Burial will take place in Lakeview Cemetery. Contributions in Elmer “Bud’s” memory can be made to Bethany Lutheran Church, the Escanaba Area High School Scholarship Fund, or the Delta County Historical Society.

The Anderson Funeral Homes of Escanaba and Gladstone are assisting the Bessonen family and online remembrances can be shared at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.