JAMES K. KERKELA, AGE 76, OF KINGSFORD, PASSED AWAY ON WEDNESDAY,
FEBRUARY 14th, AT THE OSCAR G. JOHNSON V.A. MEDICAL CENTER
(Iron Mountain - February 17, 2018) - James K. Kerkela, age 76, of
Kingsford, passed away on February 14, 2018 at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical
Center in Iron Mountain.
James was born on September 22, 1941 in
Republic, son of the late Arne and Aili (Carlson) Kerkela. He was raised in
Republic and was a 1959 graduate of Republic High School.
the United States Army in 1962 and served in Korea until his honorable discharge
in 1965. Jim worked as a diesel mechanic at Cummins diesel for over thirty six
years, retiring in 2001. He married Roberta Larson on October 23, 1981 in Iron
He was a member of the U.P. Whitetails organization and
enjoyed attending their fund raising banquets. Jim loved to hunt and fish. He
spent lots of time with family and friends at hunting camp in Republic. He also
enjoyed times with family at the cottage at Cosgrove Lake. Jim was an expert
mechanic and all around handyman who could fix everything. He took great pride
in his flower gardens. Jim especially loved spending time with his children and
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Roberta;
his children, Leah Kerkela of Kingsford, Kevin Kerkela of Phoenix, Arizona and
Ricky Hixon of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; brother, Robert (Nancy) Kerkela of Republic;
sisters, Dorothy Heinonen of Republic, Shirley Martin of Washington State,
Bernice (Kenny) Hannula of Hurley, Wisconsin, Darlene Kerkela of Ishpeming and
Donna Mattila of Republic; grandchildren, Mary Lee (John) Greer and Lisa (Matt)
Flynn; six great grandchildren; sisters in law, Lauren (Bob) Demko of Aurora and
Judy (Guy) Doda of Spread Eagle. Also by many nieces and nephews.
addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by his sister, Diane
Kerkela and brothers in law, Elmer Heinonen, Dale Martin and Jay Mattila.
The family will receive friends from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Monday,
February 19th at the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain.
Condolences to the family of James Kerkela may be expressed online at
The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home with
the funeral arrangements.