The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Barbara Jean 'Torchie' Aijala


July 12, 2018

HURLEY, Wis. - Barbara Jean "Torchie" Aijala, 86, of Hurley died peacefully on June 28, 2018 at the Villa Maria, after battling Parkinson's Disease, with her loving family by her side.

Barbara was born July 7, 1932 in Ironwood, Mich., daughter of the late Geno and Mae (Brown) DeRosso. She graduated from J. E. Murphy High School in 1951.

She married Clayton Aijala on May 23, 1952, and they had seven children together. After 25 years of marriage, they divorced.

Barbara worked as a CNA for about 40 years, first at Grandview Hospital in Ironwood and then for Sky View Nursing Home and Villa Maria in Hurley. She also worked as a matron for the Iron County Sheriff's Department.

She was a loving mother, and the most important thing in her life was always her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Nothing made her happier than spending time with her family. She had a wonderful fun-loving sense of humor and was always good with a joke.

Surviving are six sons, Brian (Mina) Ironwood, Mich., Tim (Judy), Two Harbors, Minn., Jeff, Appleton, Kevin (Carenea), Hurley, Kim (Jessica) and Cory (Patty) both of Dickinson, N.D .; a daughter, Greta (Larry) Czerniak, Hurley; 17 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; a sister, Bonnie (Gerald) Gulan, Milwaukee; a cousin, Walter Gravadoni (who was more like a brother), Grays Lake, Ill .; a sister-in-law, Irene DeRosso; and lifelong friend, Geri Kutz.

Besides her parents Barbara was predeceased by her brothers, Dennis DeRosso and Mickey Brown and cousin, Rosemary Gravadoni.

Out of respect for her wishes, cremation has taken place.

Memorial services will be held July 20, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hurley, where Barb was a lifetime member, with Fr. Frank Kordek as celebrant.

Luncheon will follow the service at the Liberty Bell Chalet in downtown Hurley.

Private committal and interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Hurley.

McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home is assisting the family.

For more information or to give online condolences, please visit

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