Leonard A. Rukkila
NEGAUNEE, MI – Leonard A. Rukkila, age 94, of Negaunee and formerly of Eben Jct, died early Friday morning, February 3rd, 2023, at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette, where he had been a resident for two months.
Leonard was born on May 4th, 1928, in Escanaba, the son of Hugo and Jennie (Norlund) Rukkila.
Leonard spent his early years growing up in both Rock and Eben Jct. Michigan. He graduated from Eben High School.
Leonard served as a military policeman during the U.S. WWII occupation of Japan (1946-1948). He earned the WWII Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal. After his discharge in 1948, he married, Marcella “Marcy” Wester, on November 13th, 1948. Together they raised their five children.
Leonard served his Country again during the Korean conflict (1950-1951), serving with the 8th Calvary Regiment, where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge and Korean Service Metal. He was a member of the Chatham, Mi V.F.W. Post 9714 since 1946 and a member of American Legion Post 370 for 30 years.
Leonard joined the Michigan State Police in 1957, retiring with the rank of Sergeant in 1981. He served the MSP at the St. Ignace, Erie, Wakefield and Ypsilanti Posts. After his retirement from the MSP Leonard served as the Deputy Chief of Police for the City of Romulus, MI for ten years.
Leonard enjoyed being with his family-particularly his grandchildren and great- grandchildren, playing cards and having an occasional cigar when “he had the time for one” and reading western and history literature.
Leonard was preceded in death by his parents – Hugo and Jennie Rukkila, his wife of 67 years – Marcella, his son – Rodney and his grandson – Rodney Leonard, brother – Neil Marvin Rukkila, brother-in-law – Jerome Wester and sister-in-law – Beverly Freeman.
He is survived by children – Christine (Daniel) Hendrickson of Negaunee, Bruce (Patricia) Rukkila of Houghton, Shelley (Paul) Koski of New London, Wisconsin, David (Patti) Rukkila of Milan, MI and daughter- in-law – Dawna (Rodney) Rukkila of Fenton, MI, sister-in-law – Karen (Vern) Perry of Citrus Springs, FL and brother-in-law – Jack Wester (Alger, MI); 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and a half-sister Loretta (Jim) Kinnen, Frazee, MN.
Dad, you left us with love for all. You will be forever missed. A memorial service and graveside military honors will be held in the spring. Memorial contributions are suggested to VFW Post #9714, Chatham, MI.
The family wishes to express a sincere thank you and gratitude to the entire staff of the Jacobetti Home for Veterans for their excellent care, compassion and kindness.
Leonard’s obituary and online tribute wall may be found at bowermanfuneralhome.net.