The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ernest Victor Salonen Sr.


BERGLAND, Mich. - Ernest Victor Salonen Sr., 84, a lifelong resident of Bergland, passed away peacefully early Monday morning, July 24, 2017, surrounded by his loving family.

Ernie was born on March 9, 1933, in Bergland, a son of Ernest Edwin and Ida Helen (Kasper) Salonen. He attended Bergland Community School and graduated in 1951.

After graduation, Ernie proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Missouri during the Korean War.

On Aug. 20, 1960, Ernie was united in marriage to Sharon Lee Borton at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bergland. They were blessed with five children.

Ernie worked for Fox Valley Construction, Pestka Trucking of Ontonagon, and retired as a welder from White Pine Copper Company. During his working career, Ernie and his dad built and he owned and operated the Texaco Gas Station in Bergland.

His passion and dream was flying, and he obtained a private pilot license.

Ernie spent many happy hours fishing on Lake Superior. His most recent favorite pastime was going with his family four-wheeling, and he absolutely loved spending time in his son's basement which was the house that he grew up in.

He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and was a past commander of the Bergland American Legion Post 562.

Ernie is survived by five children, Ernest Salonen Jr. (Julie), Wakefield, Debra (Stephen) Mleko, Marquette, Penny (John) Colassaco, Ironwood, Diana Holst, Montreal, Wis., and Tammy (Jim) Perry, Ironwood; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; a sister, Kay Sikkila, Covington; a brother, Paul (Karen), Bergland; his sister-in-law, Sandra Mattson, Ironwood; his brother-in-law, David Tompkins, Tustin; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; and his beloved wife, Sharon, on Oct. 5, 2014.

In accordance with Ernie's wishes, cremation will take place.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 29, at 3 p.m. EDT, preceded by visitation at 2 p.m. EDT, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bergland, with the Rev. Timothy J. Steckling officiating.

A committal service and inurnment will take place at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Bergland, with a military graveside service under the auspices of Bergland American Legion Post 562 and Ontonagon County Veterans Association Honor Guard.

A celebration of Ernie's life will be held at the Bergland Bay Bar following the cemetery service.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at


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