The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Donald E. Luoma


IRONWOOD, Mich. - Donald E. Luoma, 82, of E5148 Riverside Road, Ironwood, died Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Ironwood.

Donald was born Sept. 9, 1931, in Bessemer, son of the late John and Jennie (Kivi) Luoma. He moved to Erwin Township in 1939. He attended Erwin Township schools and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School with the class of 1949.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in April of 1952. He served as an infantryman in the 7th Division of the 32nd Regiment in Japan and Korea. He received the Bronze Battle Star and the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged in January 1954.

Donald attended Gogebic Community College. He received his bachelor's degree from Northern Michigan University in 1958, and his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1968. 

He taught for the Ewen Public Schools from 1958 to1960, and the Ashland School District from 1960 to 1968. He was the Dean of Business at Gogebic Community College from 1968 until 1973. He taught for the Ironwood Area School District from 1976 until his retirement in June 1990.

Donald was the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce president in 1972. He was on the Board of Trustees of Gogebic Community College from 1980 until 2000. He was a former supervisor and trustee of Erwin Township. He was a member of the Bessemer VFW Post 3673 and the Ironwood DAV Chapter 66, where he was the former commander and treasurer.

On June 18, 1954, Donald was united in marriage with Nancy Wennersten. She preceded him in death on Nov. 9, 2007.

He is survived by two sons, Gary and Greg, both of Erwin Township; one daughter, Carolyn (Doug) Ratkowski, of Saxon, Wis .; a son-in-law, Tom Dahlin, of St. Louis Park, Minn .; five grandchildren, Jon Dahlin, of Edina, Minn., Jayme Dahlin, of Rochester, Minn., Noelle (Ben Neumann) Luoma, of Robbinsdale, Minn., and Samantha and Rebecca Ratkowski, of Saxon; and one great-grandson, Henry Neumann, of Robbinsdale.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Glen, on Jan. 12, 1991; a daughter, Nanette Dahlin, on March 26, 2011; and a granddaughter, Alyssa Ratkowski on Aug. 25, 1993.

Cremation has taken place at the Range Crematory in Hurley.

A family memorial service will be held on Monday, July 28, 2014, at noon, at the Ketola-Burla Funeral Home in Ironwood. Rev. Warner Luoma and Rev. Colin Kivi will officiate. Full military rites will be conducted by the Ironwood American Legion Post 5 Honor Guard.

Public visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the service at noon.

Arrangements are by Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Ketola-Burla Funeral Home of Ironwood.


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