Dale D. Ahonen
December 29, 2022
HURLEY, Wis. - Dale David Ahonen, 50, passed away from a massive coronary heart attack Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Hurley.
He was born on April 20, 1972, in Waupun, to former Kimball residents David A. Ahonen and Jennifer M. (née Pull) Smith. The family resided there until 1973, when they moved to Hurley and eventually to their permanent home in Kimball in 1976.
Dale attended South Side Elementary School in Hurley and was a member of the last class to have graduated from J.E. Murphy High School in Hurley in 1990. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the University of Wisconsin-Superior before obtaining a linesmen vocational degree in Minneapolis.
In the mid-1990s, Dale returned to the Hurley area, where he resided for the rest of his life. He was innately intelligent and a lover of nature, animals, fishing and sports. Dale was a talented athlete in his younger years and loved swimming and camping at the Gile Flowage, Lake Superior, or any body of water.
He was preceded in death by his father, David Ahonen, of Hurley and Ketchikan, Alaska; stepfather, Steven Smith, of Kimball; grandparents, Gustaf A. and Jennie F. Ahonen, of Kimball, and John H. and Ella C. Pull, of Bexleyheath, Kent, England; and aunts and uncles, Dorothy Silkworth-Kuula, Don Silkworth, Elaine and Roy Cook, and Ian, Alan and Edwin Pull.
He is survived by his mother, Jennifer Smith, of Kimball; sisters, Jacqueline Vertigan (Craig Swerdfiger), Otsego, Minnesota, and Julie (Tim) Huotari, Woodruff; stepsiblings, Bradley "Dudley" (Karin) Smith, Kimball, Keith (Vanessa) Smith, Somerset, Heidi (Gary Zindorf) Doney, Gile, and Corey (Cassie) Smith, Hampshire, Illinois; and nieces and nephews, Julia and Olivia (Zack Cassatt), Jenna (Qatar) Masomi, Mason Wroblewski, Jacie Huotari, Jordan and Emily Smith, Aleah Smith, Cameron Smith, Marcus Doney, and Adalynn and Lydia Smith; two great-nephews, Sekander Masomi and Lucas Smith; an uncle, Ron Ahonen, Kimball; an aunt, Marlene (Andy) Torrez, Kenosha; and many cousins, other relatives, and innumerable friends.
No one asks for mental illness, and not many understand it unless they or someone they love is dealt that hand. While Dale had a kind, gentle, loving soul, he suffered greatly from mental and, eventually, physical illnesses. His mother, Jennifer, put it best:
"I am devastated, grieving and sad beyond words. As an adult, Dale had serious health issues that took away his ability to lead a normal, productive life. So, I have grieved over him for many years prior to this final blow. I only wish I could have made him happy and safe, but that was not to be. My only consolation is to remember that happy, funny, kind boy we were blessed to know in our earlier years. You are always in my heart, Dale. I love you. May your rest be peaceful."
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 11 a.m. at McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home in Ironwood, Michigan, preceded by visitation at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred in Dale's honor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI, P.O. Box 49104, Baltimore, MD 21297 or nami.org).
The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home of Ironwood to honor Dale's legacy of life. You can leave condolences or a tribute at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.