WAKEFIELD, Mich. — Ronald L. “Ron” Saari, 73, a longtime resident of Wakefield, died peacefully Monday, June 17, 2013, at his home, with his loving family by his side.
Ron was born on Dec. 12, 1939, in Kellogg, Idaho, the son of Thomas M. and Tina M. (Nyman) Saari. He graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood in 1958.
On July 1, 1958, Ron enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and was stationed at Baffin Island, in the Canadian Arctic, for a year of isolated duty. He was honorably discharged on June 29, 1962, as a damage controlman second class.
It was in Paradise, Ron met Shirley J. Tinkis. They were married on Dec. 22, 1961, in Sault Ste. Marie, and were blessed with three sons. The family made their home in Wakefield in 1973.
For more than 29 years, he was employed by White Pine Copper Co ., and retired in 1995.
Ron was an outdoorsman, who enjoyed fishing and bird hunting. He played many years of softball and horseshoes. Ron was a faithful fan of the Detroit Tigers and the Green Bay Packers. He was a member of the Ironwood American Legion Post 5.
Ron took pleasure playing many games of Old Maid with his grandchildren and daily Scrabble games with Shirley.
He loved his family, and will be greatly missed.
Ron is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Shirley; three sons, Alan, Jeffrey (Janis), Crystal Lake, Ill ., Ron (Sarah), De Pere, Wis .; seven grandchildren, Nikki (Ray) Traxler, Erica, Robert (Michelle), Patrick, Taylor, Aaron and Jackson; five great-grandchildren, Kelsi, Ava and Ivy Traxler, and Garron and Theo; a brother, Raymond (Sandra), of Illinois, his sister-in-law, Jackie Saari, New Berlin, Wis .; three brothers-in-law and four sisters-in-law, Jim and Gracie Tinkis, Hawkins, Beverly and Joe Kraus, Hope, Audrey Coon, The Villages, Fla ., and David and Karen Tinkis, Clarkston; numerous nieces and nephews; and special friends, Wes and Jean Rautiola and Larry and Laurie Gabka, and their daughters, Megan and Madeline.
He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Kenneth, Russ, Paul and Maury; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jim and Fran Tinkis; and his brother-in-law, Jim Coon.
A memorial service will be held Friday, June 21, at 2 p.m ., preceded by visitation at 1 p.m ., at All Saints Lutheran Church in Wakefield, with the Rev. Bill Jacobson officiating.
Lunch will be served in the church fellowship hall following the service.
Burial will take place in Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood, with a military graveside service under the auspices of Ironwood American Legion Post 5 Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions may be made to All Saints Lutheran Church, 1202 Putnam St ., Wakefield MI 49968.
Lakeside Memorial Chapel in Wakefield is assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy may be offered at lakesidememorialchapel.com.