The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Alan D. Kangas


IRON BELT, Wis. - Alan D. Kangas, 68, of Iron Belt, died Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Iron Belt.

He was born May 12, 1947, in Ironwood, Mich., son of the late Eino and Laila (Valkama) Kangas. The youngest of four boys, he attended Iron Belt schools and graduated from the J.E. Murphy High School in Hurley with high honors. He attended the Ironwood Junior College and also the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis where he received a Bachelor's of Science degree in botany. Alan was employed by the Minnesota Highway Department.

Alan was united in marriage to the former Annette Negri of Ironwood and they had a son. He then moved back to Iron Belt to take over his father's dairy operation. He met the former Donna Mullen. They were united in marriage and they had four sons.

Alan was named Young Dairyman of the Year in 1976 by the Michigan Milk Producers Association. From 1983 until 1985, Alan grew and sold broccoli and cauliflower, along with his boys, for the Rural Venture program to local farmers markets and area businesses.

For many years, Alan operated his own disposal service business. Most recently, he operated a beef farm, or as Alan and his friends liked to call it, "the South Iron Belt Cattleman's Association."

He especially enjoyed a trip to Colorado in 2013 with his brothers, Larry and Rudy, which for two nights Alan and Rudy had to live off sheep liver, "with no onions," because a bear stole their food two nights in a row.

Alan is known for always helping others, which included fixing whatever was rolled or drug into the yard. He never refused to help anyone and would fix anything, even in the cold winter months.

He loved plants and enjoyed not just the science of flowers, but the beauty of them. Alan always had fresh flowers on the kitchen table. We are blessed to have learned many valuable lessons from Alan, and will always remember how he loved to share in a good laugh.

Besides his parents, Alan was preceded in death by his brothers, Dick and Larry; a sister-in-law, Patricia; and nephews, Nick Kangas and Patrick Mullen.

He is survived by his children, David (Beth) Kangas, of Woodbury, Minn., Adam Kangas, of Ironwood, Justin (Corrin) Kangas and Jason Kangas, both of Iron Belt, and Kevin (Kristy) Kangas, of Montreal; his grandchildren, Katie, Emily, Jeffrey, Haydn, Riley, Laila, Reagan, Finn, Senja and Wiloh. Also surviving is a brother, Rudy; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Alan was a surrogate father to David Rick, of Florence, Ky.

A memorial service will be held at the Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home, 304 S. Sophie St., Bessemer, on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at 11 a.m. Pastor Kurt Brandon of the Trinity Lutheran Church will officiate. Alan's family will receive relatives and friends from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home on Saturday.

A luncheon will follow the service at Joany's Sidekicks in Iron Belt.

Spring inurnment will be in the Hillside Cemetery, Iron Belt.

Range Funeral Service and Crematory and the Ketola-Burla Funeral Home of Hurley and Ironwood is also assisting the family.

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