Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Richard Arthur Estola

IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Richard Arthur Estola, 74, of Ironwood Township, passed away into glory on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.

Rick was born on Nov. 9, 1947, in Detroit, a son of Waino and Mayme (Sirvio) Estola.

He was united in marriage to Elizabeth Joan Ruotsala on June 21, 1969, and together they raised 12 children.

After graduating from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood, in 1965, Rick attended Marquette Auto Body School. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves for six years while founding Rick's Body Shop in 1968, and then Rick's Muffler Center in 1981. During this time, he also bought and sold cars and continued to do so into retirement. His love for the community led him to serve as a trustee for Ironwood Township and then as a supervisor from 2000 to 2008.

Foundational to his life was his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was a lifelong member of the Apostolic Lutheran Church, serving in many positions.

Rick is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Betty; 12 children, Anita (Dan) Warren, Woodland, Washington, Brandon (Angie), Ironwood, Grace (Sam) Stenersen, Amboy, Washington, Jay (Dawn), Campobello, South Carolina, Sarah (Tim) Aho, Wolf Lake, Minnesota, Jim (Clara), Alan (Val) and Jed (Krista), all of Ironwood, Megan (Nick) Aho, Wolf Lake, Corey (Kara), Ironwood, Robert (EmaLeigh), Yorktown, Virginia, and Jared (Samantha), Ironwood; 50 grandchildren with two on the way; 12 great-grandchildren; five siblings, Sue Suomi, Ed (Rachel), Bruce (Sharon), Julie (Karl) Somero and Steve (Robin); and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Leonard; a sister, Joan; and a grandson, Graham Aho.

A funeral service will be held Friday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m., preceded by visitation at 1 p.m., at the Apostolic Lutheran Church, 326 W. Aurora St., in Ironwood.

There will be a luncheon following the service.

A committal service and interment will take place at Sunset Acres Cemetery in Ironwood Township, in the spring.

Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, is assisting the family with their arrangements. To send online condolences please go to