MERCER, Wis. - The dedicated life of Erland Walter Saarnio, 62, of Mercer, came to a peaceful end on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, at his home, surrounded by family.
Erland was born Jan. 20, 1951, in Bessemer, Mich ., to Arnold and Marian (Ulrich) Saarnio. Upon graduating from Lakeland Union High School, he started his lifelong career of logging, and took exceptional pride in his work and that his wood piles were always perfect.
He had an exceptional love for his grandchildren, and their "Pop Pop" was always in high demand for his lawnmower rides. Let's not forget man's best friend, Louis the grand-dog. The bed hog!
Outdoors is where Erland wanted to be; he loved fishing for trout and bass or hunting for the big buck with his family and friends, or just strolling through the woods looking at timber, and always looked forward to planting his vegetable garden in the spring. He had a big heart and was always there to lend a helping hand to family, friends or strangers. He will be deeply missed.
Erland is survived by his wife, Donna (Watts) Saarnio, Mercer; a daughter, Sarah (Jason) Lind, Oma; son, Jacob (Cate) Saarnio, Winchester; daughter, Amy (Robert) Nowak, Woodruff; mother, Marian Saarnio, Mercer; sister, Arla (Wes) Saenger, Rothschild; four grandchildren, Alex Ryley Saarnio, Hunter Saarnio, Morgan Nowak and Max Nowak; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Arnold O. Saarnio; a brother, Arnold Allan Saarnio; and sister, Kathryn Marian Saarnio.
Out of respect for Erland's wishes, cremation has taken place.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m ., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m ., at Faith Lutheran Church in Mercer, with Deacon Larry Oehlerking officiating.
A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.
Private committal and interment will be in the Mercer Cemetery in the spring.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Log A Load for Kids, P.O. Box 1278, Rhinelander WI 54501, or the HOPE Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 261, Ironwood MI 49938.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ironwood, Mich ., where condolences may be expressed online at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.