The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Eugene 'Red' D'Antonio


November 25, 2017

WAUSAU, Wis. - Eugene "Red" D'Antonio, 81, long-time Ironwood businessman, passed away on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Wausau. He was born Oct. 22, 1936, at the Newport Hospital in Ironwood, the son of the late Alexander "Bulltone" and Josephine (Evangelisto) D'Antonio.

Red attended Ironwood and Wakefield Schools. He served in the U.S. Air Force. He was employed at the Bessemer Creamery as a truck driver/milkman. Red was also employed by Ketola Logging and Schult Mobile Homes. He began his career as a car salesman at Gil's Auto Exchange in Bruce Crossing, Mich. In 1973, he opened his own dealership, Red's Auto of Ironwood.

Red was a successful entrepreneur who owned and operated various businesses in the area. In his early years, he enjoyed stock car racing and was an avid stock car racer. He also enjoyed snowmobiling and fishing on Lake Superior. He especially enjoyed hunting with his sons at deer camp. He was an avid fan of NASCAR and drove on several NASCAR race tracks.

On Aug. 17, 1957, he was married to the former Phyllis Ketola at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Wakefield by Father Daniel. Red and Phyllis recently celebrated 60 years of marriage. She survives.

Also surviving are his children, Robert (Nikki) D'Antonio, Denise (Terry) Erickson, Diane (Tom) Kohl, Jean D'Antonio, and Roy D'Antonio; five grandchildren, Jason (Justin) Erickson, Jennifer (John) Luke, Collin D'Antonio, Firuza Graham, and Gvanni D'Antonio; a great-grandson, Hunter Luke; and many nieces and nephews, cousins, relatives, and step-grandchildren. He is also survived by his beloved dog and best friend, Mia.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Marie Varner.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood. Father Robb Jurkovich will be the celebrant. Red's family will receive relatives and friends one hour prior to the mass in the St. Joseph's Family Room at the church. Full military rites will be accorded by the American Legion Post 5 Honor Guard of Ironwood.

A luncheon will follow. Spring Inurnment will be in the Hurley Cemetery.

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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