The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

LeRoy J. Holappa


October 31, 2017

BESSEMER, Mich. - LeRoy J. Holappa, 87, of Bessemer, passed away on Oct. 29, 2017. He was born Jan. 1, 1930, in Ironwood, son of the late William and Lillian (Hill) Holappa.

LeRoy graduated from A. D. Johnston High School in 1948. He was a member of the basketball team that was runner-up in the Class B state finals in 1948. He served in the U.S. Army for the 101st Airborne Division for two years. He played basketball with the Fort Lee Travellers while in the service. On June 23, 1956, he was united in marriage to Delores Aho.

LeRoy coached basketball for the St. Sebastian Knights for six years. He worked at Geneva Mine, Universal Machine, A.D. Johnston High School and the Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District. LeRoy served as president of AFSCME Local 992 for six years. He donated over 125 pints of blood to the Red Cross, and saved many lives in the process. He was a member of Sharon Lutheran Church of Bessemer.

LeRoy is survived by his beloved wife, Delores, of Bessemer; a daughter, Tracy J. (Michael) Casari, of Ironwood, and son, Troy N. (Rebecca) Holappa, of Hartford, Wis .; granddaughters, Marissa Casari, of Ironwood, Abigail and Tahlia Holappa, of Rubicon, Wis .; grandsons Joshua (Jennifer Polsinelli) Casari, of Saginaw, and Tyson Holappa, of Rubicon, Wis .; one great-grandson, Finnley Casari, of Saginaw; a nephew, Thomas Holappa, of Bessemer; a sister-in-law, Virginia Holappa, of Prescott Valley, Ariz .; and brothers-in-law Dean Mattson, of Ironwood, Richard (Lyn) Aho, of Ironwood, and Jim (Tasha) Aho, of Kenosha, Wis.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Darlene (Dean) Mattson; brothers, William and Robert Holappa; a sister-in-law, LaVerne (William) Holappa; and nephew, Gene Holappa.

He had a great impact on his family, friends and countless others and will be sorely missed by all.

In honor of LeRoy's wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Sharon Lutheran Church, Bessemer. Pastor Bill Jacobson will officiate. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. until the hour of service at the church on Saturday.

Inurnment will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Bessemer in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to Sharon Lutheran Church, 100 E. Sellar St., Bessemer, MI 49911.

Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home of Bessemer is assisting the family with arrangements. To send online condolences, visit

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