Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Don Wakevainen

WAKEFIELD, Mich. - Don Wakevainen, 91, of Wakefield, passed away Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, at the Gogebic Medical Care Facility in Wakefield.

Don was born on Dec. 18, 1929, in Wakefield to Donald T. and Elsie (Ruha) Wakevainen. He graduated from Marenisco School.

Don served his country in the U.S. Army and enlisted in 1948 and served until 1949, when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served on the hospital ship, USS Intrepid, in Korea during the Korean War. Don was honorably discharged as a corpsman 3rd class in 1953. He received the Combat Action Ribbon, Navratilova Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal and United Nations Service Medal.

Don met the love of his life at a USO dance. He married Betty Lou (Bonnie) Vandiver in 1953, in Washington D.C. They were married for 40 years until her passing in 1993.

He loved playing his saxophone with the Gogebic Range Community Band. Don was head of the 1976 Bicentennial Committee. He was also president of the Wakefield Chamber of Commerce. He had the honor of being elected president for the residents at the nursing home.

Don worked as a logger with his dad. He worked at a medical supply company in D.C. for many years. He moved his family to Wakefield because of the 1969 riots in D.C. Don then became the purchasing agent at Grand View Hospital for many years until retirement.

Don is survived by a daughter, Brenda (Ted) Miskovich, Wakefield; a son, Doug (Jean), Tualatin, Oregon; grandchildren, Shannon (Monica), Portage, Michigan, Todd (Mandy), Marquette, and Renee, of Missouri; great-grandchildren, Goran and Logan, both of Portage, and Dom and Mila, both of Marquette; and a sister, Clara.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Helen.

The family would like to thank the great staff at the Gogebic Medical Care Facility, especially Heidi, Marybeth, Julie and Pearl on the COVID ward. The Glenn Miller Band was played for him as he loved their music!

A celebration of life with the immediate family will be held at a later date.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at

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