ISHPEMING - Sulo R. Juntila, 76, of 9755 Co. Road 496, Ishpeming (Ely Township) passed away Thursday, Sept. 05, 2013, at the Bell Hospital in Ishpeming.
Sulo was born Sept. 7, 1936, in Ishpeming to Charles "John" and Hilma (Honkala) Juntila. Sulo graduated from National Mine High School where he starred as a basketball player. After high school, he married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Helsten and their marriage spanned for more than 50 years. He served in the Michigan National Guard. Sulo worked for the Robbins Flooring Mill prior to working for Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company for 30 years. Sulo worked as an electrician at Eagle Mills,the Republic Mine and retired from the Tilden Mine as the electrical department head.
Sulo enjoyed tinkering with automobiles or just about anything he could get his hands on. He built his own home, starting with timber from his property to the finished product of a house. He could fix about anything reusing parts and pieces, that included straightening the nails! One of his pride and joy inventions was his one-man sawmill. He and his wife Barbara enjoyed traveling together to Hawaii, the Bahamas and other warm places. A trip to Finland in 1984 celebrated his Finnish heritage. They also enjoyed going to U.P. casinos and their Friday nights at 41 Steakhouse. Sulo will be missed by his poodle Caesar, who was always by his side. Caesar was great enjoyment for Sulo and was his "pal."
In his relaxation time, Sulo loved watching the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Tigers. His children knew not to call him or visit during the Packer games and all of his children were raised Cheeseheads, too. Sulo was a strong soul with Finnish Sisu and fought the torments of aging and disease beyond the laws of medicine. He purposed to live life his way. And he did it! Now he is dancing and drinking coffee again with Barbara, whom he truly missed.
Sulo is survived by four children, JoAnn (Jim) Manty of Ishpeming, Kurt Juntila of Bark River, Lori (Tim) Rupert of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Dede (Frank) Caplett of Forney, Texas; a sister, Rachel (Robert) Besonen of Ewen; brothers, Elmer (Shirley) Juntila of Ishpeming, and Harry Juntila of Port Orchard, Wash.; four grandchildren, Adam Manty, Andrew Manty, Kyle (Crystal) Juntila and Kortnie (Mike) Groleau; two great-grandchildren, Morgan and Gavin Groleau; along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Barbara; and sister, Irja Olmsted.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9, at the Faith Lutheran Church with Rev. Dave Johnson officiating.
Sulo's family will greet relatives and friends on Monday from 10 a.m. until the time of service at Faith Lutheran Church. A luncheon will be held following the service in the church fellowship hall. Sulo's obituary may also be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.