Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Jeffery Paul Wertanen

GRAYSON, Ga. — Jeffery Paul Wertanen, 57, of Grayson, formerly of northern Minnesota communities of Aurora and Eveleth, passed into the arms of God on April 14, 2020, at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was diagnosed with melanoma 14 years ago and fought a courageous battle.

Jeff was born in Aurora on Jan 12, 1963, to Alvin and Jane Wertanen. He attended grades K-8 in Aurora, moved to Eveleth for grades 8-12 and graduated in 1981.

He attended the Hibbing Vo-Tech and earned a degree in construction trades in 1983.

He moved to Clearwater, Florida, where he studied flying. Jeff was a flight instructor and a charter pilot. Later, he worked for the Home Depot regional warehouse in Grayson.

Jeff loved his family and was a loving son, husband and father and is missed by all. He enjoyed traveling and a variety of activities, including motocross, helping Uncle Ralph in the garage, scuba diving, flying, snowmobiling, boating, fishing, grilling and time at the lake home in Georgia with his family.

He had a strong work ethic and the skills to manage maintenance and construction projects at home, work and at his wife Mary Ellen’s pet store. He was so kind and never too busy to help anyone. One of Jeff’s last statements was: “I have so many things I need to do.”

Jeff is survived by his parents, Alvin and Jane Wertanen of Virginia, Minnesota; wife, Mary Ellen Wertanen of Grayson; son, Justin Wertanen of Valrico, Flordia; daughter Haleigh Wertanen and her betrothed Ian of Chesapeake, Virginia. Jeff is also survived by aunts and uncles; Pat and Ralph Johnson of Eveleth, Minnesota, and Mary and Bob McNaughton of Sharpsburg; aunts, Elaine Fontecchio of Aurora, Minnesota, Sally Minkin of Biwabik, Minnesota; an uncle, Ronald Wertanen of Baudette, Minnesota; foster brother, Timm Knapp; brothers and sisters-in-law Dr. Rick (Joanne) Majeska of Atlanta, Rob (Isis) of Marathon, Florida; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Jeff is preceded in death by his grandparents Beverly and Ted Carey, Minnie and Einor Wertanen; aunt, Evelyn Lahnala; uncle, Everette Wertanen; parents-in-law, Mary and Richard Majeska; and brother-in-law, Randy Majeska.

Thank you to the staff at Emory University Hospital for the many years of kindness and care. A memorial and celebration of life will be held at a later date in Grayson.

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