WATERSMEET, Mich. — Gene Raymond Korhonen, 68, of Crystal Falls, passed away at his beloved lake house in Watersmeet on Thursday, May 30, 2013.
Gene was born to the late Uno and Lorraine (Sipponen) Korhonen on Nov. 6, 1944, in Ironwood. He graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in 1963. Upon completing high school, he enlisted in the United States Army to serve his country in Vietnam. He arrived in Saigon on Nov. 5, 1964, where he served in the 7th RRU, first Platoon, 101st RRC, and remained until May 1966, when he returned to Fort Bragg.
Gene returned for another tour in October 1966, this time in Danang, where he remained until August 1967, at which time he returned to San Francisco to be honorably discharged from the service. At the time of his discharge he was ranked as E-5 Sergeant.
After his discharge from the Army, Gene attended Gogebic Community College and Northern Michigan University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in finance, after which he started his banking career in Mercer, Wis ., then in Ironwood, where he was the manager of D&N Bank for several years. Finding joy in his job, Gene began obtaining the licenses and certifications necessary to sell insurance and investments. He began his life as an insurance salesman when he accepted a position with Prudential in Ontonagon before moving on to Lutheran Brotherhood of Dickinson and Iron counties, where he continued until his retirement in 1997.
Gene married Lucy Vinoski on Jan. 2, 1988, in Green Bay, Wis. They recently celebrated their 25th anniversary surrounded by their loving family. Lucy remained by his side through his courageous, 10-year battle with prostate cancer. Together they have three children.
Gene was a member of United Lutheran Church, Crystal Falls, COMSEC ASA Division, member of the National Rifle Association and a life member of the Tufts-Rondon VFW Post 2891.
Gene was an avid outdoorsman who thrived when he was outside. His greatest passions were hunting and fishing, which were hobbies he strove to instill in his children. Just being on his boat brought an infectious grin to his face and he happily spent many hours perusing “Boat Finder” looking for just one more boat. Throughout his life, but increasingly towards the end, his lake house was the place that brought Gene peace, especially when joined by family, friends and his beloved pets. Animals flocked to Gene’s gentle soul, and his love for them was apparent when he greeted them with a smile and a pat. No animals loved him more than those that were part of his family.
Gene is survived by his loving wife, Lucy, of 25 years; their three beloved children, Jessica Korhonen (Patrick Moore), of Gwinn, James Korhonen, of Marquette, and Jonathon Korhonen (Dylan Elizabeth Powell), of Marquette; five brothers, Wayne (Sophia) Korhonen, of Bessemer, Robert Korhonen, of Gile, Wis ., William (Darlene) Korhonen, of Bessemer, David (Kathy) Korhonen, of Montreal, Wis ., and Richard Korhonen, of Ironwood; one sister, Linda Kritz, Washburn, Wis .; father- and mother-in-law, Edward and Julia Vinoski, of Ironwood; brothers-in-law, John (Theresa) Vinoski, of Green Bay, Steve (Cindy) Vinoski, of Chelmsford, Mass ., Jim (Volita) Vinoski, of Lawrenceburg, Ind ., and Rich (Carla) Vinoski, of Green Bay; sisters-in-law, Teresa (Leroy) Moats, of Staunton, Va ., and Michelle Vinoski, of Superior, Wis .; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews who he loved dearly. He is also survived by three children from a previous marriage, Bradley Korhonen, and his children Mason and Hailey, of Ironwood, Douglas (Gail) Korhonen, of Montreal, and Timothy (Joe) Oddo, of Las Vegas.
In addition to his parents, Gene was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Trina Korhonen; and a brother-in-law, David Kritz.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, June 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at United Lutheran Church in Crystal Falls.
A memorial will begin at 1 p.m. The Rev. Michael Laakko, Rev. Arthur Weiss and Rev. Carl Lund will be officiating.
The Eastside Veterans council will conduct a Pass-and-Review with military honors immediately prior to the service.
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at nashfuneralhome.net. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Iron County Cancer Unit, Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp, or a charity of your choice.
The family has entrusted Nash Funeral Home of Crystal Falls with the arrangements.