Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Eero Johannes Haukkala

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Eero Johannes Haukkala, 91, a long-time resident of Ironwood, passed away peacefully early Thursday morning, Feb. 16, 2023.

Eero was born on March 22, 1931, in Wakefield, a son of Charles J. and Senja S. (Ekola) Haukkala, who had recently emigrated from Finland. He attended Wakefield High School and graduated in 1949.

After graduation, Eero proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy from 1949-50 aboard the USS Midway and again from 1952-54 aboard the USS Collett during the Korean War.

Eero graduated from Gogebic Community College in 1956 and from Michigan State University in 1958. After graduating, he worked in various government, industry and public accounting firms in Lower Michigan as a certified public accountant before returning to the Upper Peninsula and opening his own CPA firm in Ironwood in 1970. In 1985, he left the firm to take the position of president at Range Savings and Loan in Hurley, Wisconsin. Before retiring, he also held the position of finance director with the city of Ironwood.

Eero's involvement in the community included co-founding Banfield Inc., a community service foundation, and serving as its executive director and treasurer for more than three decades. He was also active in the Ironwood Elks and Kiwanis clubs as well as Zion Lutheran Church in Ironwood.

On Aug. 13, 1955, Eero was united in marriage to Rose Marie Gayan at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Bessemer.

His favorite pastime was remodeling, repairing and tinkering. He remodeled two homes and a cabin and was always helping his siblings and children with their own projects, even when unsolicited. He was able to visit Finland and always stayed in contact with relatives there. He had a deep curiosity about people - he always wanted to know who their parents were, what they did for a living, where they were from, etc. - even during his final hours. And, of course, he loved a good sauna.

Eero is survived by his beloved wife, Rose; a son, Jeffrey, Ironwood; a daughter, Lori (Richard) Boes, Montpelier, Vermont; a son, Eric (Melissa), Marenisco; four grandchildren, Rachel Haukkala, Nicholas Wallace, Aaron Haukkala and Alexander Boes; his sisters-in-law, Helen Kangas and Carol Haukkala; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Leo and Helen Gayan; a brother and sister-in-law, Eino and June; brother, Elmer; a sister and brother-in-law, Eila and Benjamin Pusakulich; an infant sister, Berta; three nephews, Ben Pusakulich Sr., Richard Pusakulich and Walter Gayan Jr .; a niece, JoAnn Lane; and his brothers- and sisters-in-law, Leo Jr. and Lois Gayan, George and Dora Gayan, and Walter Gayan Sr.

In accordance with Eero's wishes, cremation will take place.

The family will greet relatives and friends on Saturday, March 4, from 10 to 11 a.m., at Zion Lutheran Church, 100 W. Midland Ave., in Ironwood.

A memorial service will follow the visitation at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Nicole Hanson-Lynn officiating. Following the service, full military honors will be accorded by the Ironwood American Legion Post 5 Honor Guard.

A luncheon will follow the military rites in the church fellowship hall.

A committal service and interment will take place at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Bessemer, on a future date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Eero's name to Banfield Inc. (a 501(c)(3) foundation), N10117 East Shore Road, Marenisco, MI 49947; or to Salolampi Foundation, P.O. Box 14480, Minneapolis, MN 55414.

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