The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Robert John "Bob" Juntunen


April 13, 2019

TAMPA, Florida — Robert John “Bob” Juntunen, 79, of Hernando, and formerly of Bessemer, Mich., passed away on March 25, 2019 due to complications following open heart surgery.

Robert was born on March 8, 1940 and raised in Bessemer. He was the son of Verner A. “Ven” and Fay (Peronto) Juntunen.

Robert attended Bessemer Schools and graduated with honors with the Class of 1958 from A.D. Johnston High School. He went on to Houghton Technical University, graduating in 1962. He received his Master’s Degree from Virginia Tech in 1989.

On Sept. 4, 1960, Robert married his high school sweetheart, Arlene Keenan. Together they raised three sons and one daughter.

Robert’s working career started with the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon and California. Next, he and his family moved to St. Paul, Minn. with the Corps of Engineers. His love for adventure took him and his family to Germany, Italy, and Saudi Arabia for 7 years and then to Kentucky also with the Corp. of Engineers. For a short time he owned the Bessemer laundromat, while working at Fort Knox, Ky. He then retired from the federal system and returned to Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia for 3 years before moving to Golden Gate, Fla. where he worked for Collier County for 5 years. After receiving his Masters in Virginia, Robert and Arlene moved to Tampa where he worked for 10 years before retiring from the state system and returned to the federal system. At this time Bob and his wife moved to Illinois and then back to Tallahassee, where he retired from working in 2002. Bob and Arlene then moved to Hernando, where they resided for 8 months of each year spending spring and summer in Bessemer.

Robert had a deep love of Bluegrass music and played mandolin and sang in the “Wry Whiskey Band”. He also loved to take his motor home and go to many bluegrass festivals and jam sessions to play and sing with friends and family. His next love was playing golf. He was a member of the Gogebic Country Club; and when he wasn’t enjoying the company of family and friends, sleeping, or playing bluegrass, he was on the golf course.

Robert is survived by his wife of 58 years, Arlene; three sons, Vic (Cendi) Juntunen, Kurt (Beth) Juntunen, and Craig Juntunen; his daughter, Caryn Juntunen; grandchildren: Brodie (Courtney) Jacks and Bianca, Colin, Christian and Makenzie Juntunen and Nicole Hoisington; brother, Paul Erickson, three sisters, Carmen (Donald) Mussatti, Gail Mattson, and Roseann (William) Ferrari, brother-in-law, James (Judy) Keenan and many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ven and Fay Juntunen; step-father, Reino Erickson; sister, Sherry Erickson; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Keenan, and brothers and sister-in-law, Roland Mattson and Betty Lou and Bill Kuta.

There will be a celebration of life this summer.

Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home of Bessemer is serving the family. For more information or to express online condolences, please visit


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