He was born Oct. 20, 1926, in Ironwood, Mich., son of the late Edward and Anna (Vida) Kovales, attended A.L. Norrie and St. Ambrose Grade School, and graduated from St. Ambrose High School in 1944. He then worked in area mines before entering the U.S. Army on Feb. 3, 1953, serving in Co. B, 998th Engineer Battalion, in Korea, and was honorably discharged as a corporal on Jan 24, 1955.
Following his discharge, Doc returned to the area and continued working in the mines until they closed. He then was employed as a dairy product salesman and truck driver for the Bessemer Creamery in Bessemer, Mich., as a chauffeur for White Pine Transit, in mines in Minnesota, in an engineering plant in California, and also in construction in Milwaukee. He retired as an apartment landlord in 1980.
Doc was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hurley and the former Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Ironwood. He was a life member of Iron County Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1580, where he served as past post commander and past chaplain of the 10th district, and life member of Hurley American Legion Post 58. He also was a member of the Military Order of the Cootie, Hurley Pup Tent 35, member and past president of the Aurora Athletic Club, member and past Grand Knight of the Hurley Knights of Columbus Council, and member and past president of the Range Cribbage League and the Ironwood Conservation Club. He transported disabled veterans to and from Iron Mountain, Mich., for many years, and was an 11-year volunteer for the Hurley Volunteer Fire Department, retiring due to a disability with his sight and hearing. Together with his wife, Adeline, Doc enjoyed traveling to conventions and to Texas, Florida and nationwide in his motor home. He also was an avid bowler and enjoyed hunting and fishing.
He was married to the former Adeline Schneider on June 26, 1965, at St. Mary’s Church in Hurley. She survives.
Also surviving are a daughter, Marianne (Bob) Johnson, Troy, Ill.; three grandchildren, William (Teresa) Johnson, Henderson, Tenn., and Jennifer (Yaz) Hassan and Christopher Johnson, both of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; five great-grandchildren, Emil and Hannah Hassan, and Isaac, Emily and Sarah Johnson; a sister-in-law, Grace Kovales, Milwaukee; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, Doc was preceded in death by a son, Edward, at birth; daughter, Kathleen, at age 3; and three brothers, Adam, at birth, Gordon and Jerome “Bear.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, March 27, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at St. Mary’s Church in Hurley, with the Rev. Frank Kordek OFM, celebrant.
Rite of Committal and interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hurley, in the spring.
Pallbearers will be Jim Roth, Guy Kovales, Bob and William Johnson, Ken Nicholls and Curt Wehrman.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are preferred to St. Mary’s Church, 404 Iron St., Hurley WI 54534.
Arrangements are entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home Inc., Ironwood, where condolences may be given online at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.