Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ruth Marie Kettula

WAKEFIELD, Mich. — Ruth Marie Kettula, 94, of Ironwood, went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the morning of Sept. 29, 2020, at the Gogebic Medical Care Facility in Wakefield.

Ruth was born on Feb. 20, 1926, daughter of the late John William Kyrola (1895-1981) and Fannie Marie Jokiletho Kyola (1894-1994) of Finland and Ramsay. Ruth attended elementary school in Ramsay and graduated from A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer with the Class of 1943. After graduation during World War II she worked for National Airlines in Jacksonville, Florida. She retired after 36 years at the Ironwood Daily Globe as a bookkeeper, taking care of the newspaper boys’ accounts.

Ruth was a long time member of Zion Lutheran Church in Ironwood, its quilters, its choir and the Women of the ECLA, as well as a Sunday School teacher. She also was a longtime member of the National Finnish American Festival (Little Finland), a treasurer of the women’s auxiliary, and a member of its chorus.

On Aug. 20, 1949, in Ramsay, Ruth was united in marriage to Eric Andrew Kettula (1915-2001), son of the late Jacob Kettula (1881-1949) and Josephine Wiisala Makey Kettula (1882-1960). Eric predeceased Ruth on Sept. 26, 2001.

Ruth was also predeceased by her only sibling, Toivo William Kyrola (1921-2010); she is survived by her sister-in-law, Savina J. Kyrola, of Bessemer; two nieces, Nancy J. (Mark) Wiita, of St. Petersburg, Florida, and Kathleen M. (Stacy) Caudell of Hendersonville, North Carolina; a grandniece, Julie (Gregory) Kurutz; and a great-grandniece.

Ruth is further survived by the following nieces and nephews through marriage; Kay J. Brockman, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, John D. (Susan) Kettula, of Cudahy, Wisconsin, Peggy J. (Al) Phillips, of Clarkston, Michigan; and the following grandnieces and grandnephews, Lynda (Tom) Smith, Deanna (David) Snyder, Lori (Cameron Stauth) Brockman, Pennie (Michael) Bixler, David (Carrie) Brockman, Debra Jean (John) Virshek, Paul (Carroll) Rohde, Ann (Peter) Keller, John (Stephanie) Rohde, William (Lia) Rohde, Matthew (Tiffany) Philips, Russel (Soonie) Carpenter, Dr. Randy (Lynn) Carpenter, Stephen (Kandy) Carpenter, Karen Carpenter, John Eric (Nicole) Kettula, Joseph (Emily) Kettula, Katie (David) Pena and Kristen (Andrew) Sharafinski; plus several great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.

McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home is in charge of cremation arrangements. As requested by Ruth, there will be no funeral service. Those who wish to make an expression of sympathy for Ruth are asked to consider Zion Lutheran Church, ECLA, 100 W. Midland, Ironwood, MI 49938. Inurnment will be at Sunset Acres Cemetery, in Ironwood Township.

As per Ruth’s specific request, we close with a poem her husband, Eric, wrote in his diary on May 7, 1945, while on duty during WWII in Burma and India:

“Lord, when thou see’st

That my work is done,

Let me not linger here

With failing powers,

A worthless worker in

A world of work.

But with a word

Just bid me home,

And I will come,

Right gladly will I come,

Yea, right gladly

Will I come.”

This obituary was written by Ruth M. Kettula, and updated by Dr. Brian J. Tarro.

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