Wayne Michael Kujala

GLADSTONE, Mich. — Wayne Michael Kujala, 80, of Gladstone, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 at Christian Park Healthcare Center in Escanaba.

Wayne was born in Escanaba on Nov. 2, 1939 to Leslie and Elma (Wainino) Kujala. He spent most of his childhood in Kingsford, Mich., graduating from Kingsford High School. He was in the U.S. Army stationed at a Hawk Missile Site in Germany during the Cold War when the Berlin Wall was put up. He later worked in Milwaukee, Wis., for many years as a manufacturer engineer at Louis Allis Corporation. Wayne and his family relocated to the Upper Peninsula for employment at Eaton Corporation.

Wayne always had a smile. He always found the best in every situation. He would sing to his family, ” I have the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, down In my heart, down in my heart to stay!” That Joy was the Joy of the Lord. And that is what got him through many tough days. He was such a fighter and always bounced back no matter the situation. He had an unconditional love for all and opened his home to anyone who had a need.

Wayne is survived by two sons, Daniel (Ashley Brunette) Kujala of Gladstone, Mich., and Todd Kujala of Gladstone, Mich.; two daughters, Angela (Steven) Ives of Gladstone, Mich., and Holly Kujala of Gladstone, Mich.; four brothers, Conrad Kujala, Douglas Kujala, Jack (Diane) Kujala, and Jeffrey (Patty) Kujala; four sisters, Nancy (John) D’Amour, Jean VanWinkle, Linda (Brad) Ross and Cathy (Mark) Swenski; grandchildren, Benjamin (Kelsey) Ives, Heather (Jarek) McKinney, Heidi Ives, Hailee (Tyler) Wilkinson, Jordan Ives, Jared Kujala, Jake Kujala, Taylor Brunette, Jacob Plunger, Jayden Lippold, and Riley Kujala; great-grandchildren, Eliana Bovin, Zadie and Zurie Ives, Zaden and Zelek McKinney, Harbor and Marina Wilkinson; many, many much loved nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leslie and Elma Kujala and stepmother Charlotte Kujala; infant brother, Richard Leslie Kujala; brothers, Steven Kujala, Theodore Kujala, Michael Kujala

Sister Fay Lemke; sisters-in-law, Jeanne Kujala, Joan Kujala, and Pamela Kujala; brothers-in-law, Gary Lemke and David VanWinkle; nephews, Lucas VanWinkle, Thomas Kujala and great-nephew, Owen Ellis.

Family will receive friends for a visitation from 12 to 2 p.m. with a funeral service immediately following on Friday, Sept. 18, at Grace Church in Gladstone. Wayne will be laid to rest in the Lakeview Cemetery in Escanaba where military honors will be presented by the Gladstone American Legion Post 71. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Kujala family. Please visit www.skradskifuneralhomes.com where you can leave a message of sympathy to the family.