Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

John 'Jack' Carey

CHANNING, Mich. - John "Jack" Carey, 91, of Channing, passed away Tuesday, July 27, 2020, at his home surrounded by his family.

Jack was born June 20, 1929, in Sagola, son of the late Lester and Mildred (Hunting) Carey. He was a lifelong resident of the area and attended Channing High School. He proudly served in the U.S. Army. Jack married the love of his life, Joanne Helgren on Dec. 2, 1950, and enjoyed 65 years of marriage. Joanne preceded him in death on Jan. 8, 2016.

Jack was a Michigan State Police Trooper for 24 years before retiring in 1981. An on-duty accident forced an early retirement from the profession that he loved. He was well respected within the department and saved numerous lives during his career. He also scuba dived for the department.

He was a "Jack" of all trades. He was usually working on home improvement projects, renovating vehicles, building things, and at one point he even built a sauna from the ground up while on crutches while nursing a broken leg. He was always helping relatives and friends with their projects and he could fix anything. If Jack couldn't fix it, it probably couldn't be fixed.

In his early years, he enjoyed snowmobiling, hunting, trapping, trout fishing and the spring walleye opener. He enjoyed video recording family events. The entire family cherishes the video he filmed of his wife JoAnne making her famous sweet rolls and sharing the recipe.

Some of best family memories were those spent on Sawyer Lake with the Jim and Willy Helgren family. The tradition of summer lakeside family gatherings are still going strong. Jack and JoAnne's children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren hold memories of those times spent together close to their hearts.

He eventually became interested in computers and even started fixing those. He wrote computer programs, and even wrote a cost-tracking program for loggers that earned him national recognition.

Some of the best years of his retirement were spent traveling with his wife, Joanne, in their RV. Annual trips to Florida for the winters and other excursions out west with their good friends.

Jack was very proud of his seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He had a way with babies and all the kids adored him.

Jack was well known for his sense of humor and would often have a joke to share, a one liner said with perfect timing, or a funny reply to someone's question. He was extremely saddened by his wife's death, and eventually found joy in attending the senior lunch held at the Sagola Community Center. They enjoyed his sense of humor and those lunches were what he looked forward to each week. They will miss him at those lunches.

He was a member of St. Rose Catholic Church, a devout Catholic, and a man of highest integrity.

Jack is survived by his three children, Debra Carey (Mark Serwe) of Bessemer, James (Deb) Carey of Channing, and Barb Carey of Oxford, Wisconsin; seven grandchildren, Chad Bruno, Michael Loy, Meagen "Pippi" Morrison, Ryan (Kylie) Carey, Lindsay Carey, Erin (Justin) Dillon and Gretchen Carey (Emily Yerby); 14 great-grandchildren; and brothers, Micheal "Mickey" (Marion) Carey and Joe (Bev) Carey.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Tom and Pat Carey; and his daughter-in-law, Toni Carey.

A visitation was held before an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, July 31, at St. Rose Catholic Church in Channing with Fr. Janusz Romanek officiating. Burial will be in the Sagola Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be established in his memory. Condolences to the family of Jack Carey may be expressed online at

The family has entrusted Erickson-Rochon and Nash Funeral Home with the arrangements.

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