WAKEFIELD, Mich. - Robert "Bob" Liuha, 77, of Wakefield, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday, June 2, 2023.
Bob was born at the Columbia Hospital, in Astoria, Oregon, on Oct. 13, 1945, the son of William "Bill" and Peggy (Hongisto) Liuha. He was baptized into the Lutheran faith as an infant and was a confirmand of the First Lutheran Church of Wakefield. Bob maintained a simple faith in his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, his entire life. He was raised in Wakefield in the "big green house at the foot of Tank Hill" and graduated from Wakefield High School with the class of 1964. In his younger years, Bob was a faithful Corvette lover and owner, a dedicated bodybuilder and had an interest in photography.
Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and was assigned to the USS Forrestal in the Bay of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. On July 29, 1967, a fire broke out on the ship when flammable jet fuel spilled across the flight deck, ignited, and triggered a chain reaction of explosions that killed 134 sailors and injured 161. The tragedy took the lives of many of Bob's close friends and changed his life forever. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Bob obtained a certificate in electrical studies at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, where he made many special lifelong friends. He worked in Minneapolis until a chronic illness necessitated his return to Wakefield. He then worked for the city of Wakefield for a short time but, this time, illness caused him to leave the workforce permanently.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, many aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members on both the Hongisto and Liuha sides.
Bob is survived by two aunts, Marilyn Hongisto and Marlene Hongisto; many Hongisto cousins; two Liuha cousins; and many dear friends.
Bob was a fiercely proud veteran who loved his country and his family.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, July 3, at 10 a.m., preceded by visitation at 9:30 a.m., at the Lakeside Memorial Chapel, 806 Putnam St., in Wakefield, with the Rev. Todd Winkler, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Ramsay, officiating.
Interment will take place at the Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood.
Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, is assisting the family with their arrangements. Condolences may be expressed online at lakesidememorial