Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Katherine Karjala-Johnson

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Katherine Karjala-Johnson, 97, of Ironwood passed away on Oct. 19, 2021, at Westgate Nursing Rehabilitation and Assisted Living Community in Ironwood.

She was born on Dec. 10, 1923, in Ironwood, the daughter of Antonio and Antonia (Dal Degan) Benetti. She attended school at St. Ambrose High School graduation June 2, 1940. She then attended Gogebic Community College graduating June 4, 1942, and afterward attended Northern Michigan University in Marquette, graduating on May 31, 1970.

She worked at Lutwitzi, Talaska and Sharpe, Indianhead Mountain Ski Resort beginning in 1960, and she became the Gogebic County treasurer from 1970 to 1985.

She married Arthur Karjala on Jan. 19, 1948, at St. Ambrose Rectory in Ironwood, and he preceded her in death in 2000. She married Leo Johnson on Nov. 18, 2001, at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church by Fr. Darryl Pepin.

Katherine is survived by her children, Arthur Karjala of Hurley, Wisconsin, Mary Kay Welch of Ironwood, and Susan Auping of Oregon, Wisconsin; five grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; sister, Eleanor Glugla of Waukesha, Wisconsin; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Arthur and Leo; son, Michael; brothers, Arthur and Rinaldo "Cy" Benettii; and sisters, Amelia Valesano, Mary Turunen, Inez Chiantello and Elizabeth DalPra.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church on Friday, Oct. 22, at 11 a.m., preceded by a visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass, with Fr. Binu Joseph as celebrant.

The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home of Ironwood to honor Katherine's legacy of life. You can leave a condolence or a tribute at

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