The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Kenneth D. Vuorenmaa


IRONWOOD, Mich. - Kenneth D. Vuorenmaa, 79, of Ironwood, died on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, at home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born March 11, 1937, in Ironwood, the son of the late Eric and Selina (Kitula) Vuorenmaa.

He graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood with the class of 1956. On Dec. 31, 1960, he was married to Marlene Wesa in Milwaukee. He adored his beloved wife of 56 years and will be missed by all who knew him. He will always be remembered for always putting a smile on people's faces. Ken was employed for many years in maintenance and security for Gogebic Community College until his retirement in 2002.

Ken was very proud of his Finnish heritage and couldn't wait to fly his Finnish flag in his front yard every spring. He was well known for water witching and was often called "The water witcher of the north." Ken enjoyed hunting, fishing, cooking and going to his camp, which was like his second home. When not as his hunting camp, he enjoyed polka dancing with his wife, watching his Vikings, the Tigers, and his grandchildren's sporting events, and spending time with his children. In Ken's younger years he was a beagle enthusiast who won many awards. In his last years he always had his sheltie dog, Laddy, by his side.

He is survived by his wife, Marlene; his son, Kevin (Juan) Vuorenmaa-Navarro of San Francisco; two daughters, Debbie (David) Cisewski of Ironwood and Donna (Joe Shafer) Vuorenmaa of Montreal, Wis .; seven grandchildren, Jill (Aaron) Luoma of Lindstrom, Minn., Pam (Joe) Ballard of Ironwood, Jessica Samardich of Ironwood, Kyle (Kori) Cisewski of New Richmond, Wis., Bryant Gottschalk of St. Louis Park, Minn., Tyler Gottschalk of Menominee, Wis., and Aliya Harvey of Montreal; six great-grandchildren, Mya, Sadie, Molly, Kora, Caleb and Kroix; four brothers, Arvo of Ironwood, Niilo (Sonja Luoma) of Saxon, Wis., William (Shirley) of Franklin Park, Ill., and Harold (Irene) of Ironwood; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by seven brothers, Eino, Sulo, Toivo, Oiva, John, Laurie and Paul as an infant; two sisters, Elmi Jolgren and Lillian Cornwall.

A funeral service will be held Monday, Jan. 2, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ironwood at 11 am. Rev. Kurt Kovanen will officiate. Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. until the time of service at the church on Monday.

Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Ketola-Burla Funeral Home of Ironwood is assisting the family with arrangements. To send online condolences, visit us at


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