Dale Benhart Koski
SILVER CITY — Dale Benhart Koski, 80, of Silver City, passed away from Alzheimer’s related complications on Friday, May 10, at Bayside Village in L’Anse, with his wife Eileen holding his hand.
Dale was born Oct. 20, 1938, to Eino & Mabel (Nuquist) Koski in Ontonagon, Mich. He grew up in White Pine and Silver City. He attended schools in White Pine, Green and Ontonagon. Dale joined the U.S. Marines in 1957 until 1959. Dale lived in Escanaba from 1971-1984 and in Port Washington, Wis., until 2006 when he moved to the family home in Silver City with his wife Eileen.
Dale got involved with union work in 1959 until his retirement in 1999. During which time he completed two years at Michigan Tech for electronics technician and then to Wayne State University, studying business law, which evolved into being a business agent for Local 324 in Michigan from 1971-1984; business agent for Local 139 in Wisconsin from 1986-1991; business agent Local 150 in Illinois from 1991-1999. His final accomplishment was negotiating the Great Lakes Floating Agreement from Duluth, Minn., to Massena N.Y., including the tributaries of the St Lawrence Seaway.
Since Dale’s 1999 retirement, he traveled to China and with Eileen they traveled to Cuba, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. After purchasing a motor home in 2004 they became snowbirds during the winters until 2016. On one of those trips they got married in Florida on Feb. 14, 2014.
During the summers they drove the northern routes including the Lake Superior tour and visited many national parks from Glacier National Park in Montana to Acadia National Park in Maine. During 14 years of traveling, they visited 45 national parks and monuments. They also loved New York City, spending a week each fall for 11 years.
One of Dale’s rewarding accomplishments in 1984 was saving the deteriating Arch from the Italian Hall. Since 2009, it has been part of the Keweenaw National Park in Calumet. Dale was also responsible for building the athletic field/running track with volunteer labor and apprenticeship training equipment at the Ontonagon Area High School in Ontonagon, Mich.
Dale is a member of Ozaukee Masonic Lodge 0017 in Port Washington, Shriners International and National Sojourners Milwaukee Chapter 27, Escanaba MCL 444, First Marine Division of Greater Milwaukee; American Legion Nonesuch Post 462 White Pine, Elks Lodge 354 Escanaba; Finnish American Society of Milwaukee and Little Finland WI; Ontonagon County Historical Society, Ontonagon County Democrats and a member of St Paul Lutheran Church in Ontonagon.
Dale is survived by his wife, Eileen Holmstrom; daughter, Deanna (Paul) Scofield; granddaughter, Rachel (Brian) Nowicki and grandsons Trevor Pestka, Josh Colclasure and Jacob Colclasure; great-grandchildren, Izaiah Koski and Jaimisen Koski; brother, Gilbert (Diane) Koski; sisters, Sigrid (Philip) Kolehmainen and Kariina (Paul) Kelson; and sister-in-law, Diane (Ernest) Koski; a special nephew, Philip (Robin) Kolehmainen and niece Jill (Jeff) Senkerik and their children; stepchildren, Sue Britz, Ray Dishaw and Eric and Brad Holmstrom; nephews, Aaron Kolehmainen and Adam Guernsey and niece, Jena Guernsey.
In addition to his parents, Dale was preceded in death by his daughter, Debra Koski; son, Rodney Koski; and brother, Ernest Koski.
Funeral services will be at St Paul Lutheran Church in Ontonagon on Saturday, May 18, at 1 p.m. with visitation from 12 to 1 p.m. Lunch will be served at Paul’s Supper Club in Silver City following the service.
Burial will be in the Riverside Cemetery at a later date with military honors. Arrangements have been entrusted to Cane Funeral Home.
Donations can be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association P.O. Box 96011, Washington DC 20090-6011 or a charity of your choice.