Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Kenneth 'Ken' Jussila

ESCANABA, Mich. - Kenneth "Ken" Heino Jussila, 85, of Escanaba, passed away at home surrounded by family on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, following years of ongoing health issues.

Ken was born in McMillan Township, and raised in Ironwood. He was the oldest of four children born to Heino and Donna (Cobb) Jussila. He graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood in 1958.

Ken married Debra (Debbie) Moran on Oct. 16, 1976, and together shared many wonderful life events as well as his health struggles with a love cherished by both.

In his early years Ken worked for Tuff Kote which enabled him to live in Pennsylvania and together with Debbie, in Sterling Heights, and Elkhart, Indiana. Upon returning to Escanaba he held many positions in radio, co-managed Advanced T.V. & Appliance, and was a salesman at Delta Do It. He then retired from being a driver for D.A.T.A. Bus Company, "the best job he ever had."

Ken enjoyed serving on various boards in the community; church boards for the Evangelical Covenant Church (Escanaba and Gladstone), Delta County Airport & Parks Board, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Delta County and the city of Escanaba Planning Commission.

He was an avid fisherman with his best friends Jim Cook and Bill Pearl. In retirement he became hooked on golf and loved to play a round a day until health issues would no longer allow him to enjoy the game. He was short on patience for kids and large crowds, but loved one-on-one and small group conversation. He was an avid news watcher because he felt "you gotta know what is going on in the world." He cherished the close friendships he found with his daily time at Anytime Fitness. He missed this the most as his health deteriorated.

Ken is survived by his wife, Debbie; his daughters from his first marriage, Holly Jussila of Gladstone, and Penny Jussila of Escanaba; grandchildren, Robert (Crystal Martin) McCarty, Rick (Nycole Mercier) McCarty, Dennis Reese, Angela (Lee) Duroy and Cory (Heather Calouette) Ross; great-grandchildren, Levi, Dylan, Kadyn, Kaleb, Zander and Jase McCarty, Mia, Lucas and Lydia Duroy, and Henry and William Ross; brother-in-law, Dave Moran; sister-in-law, Diane (Kevin) Graham; special friend, Dan O'Dellm who offered a daily dose of encouragement, conversation and humor that was a bright spot in his long day of inactivity. He is also survive by several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Darlene Brusorio; and brothers, Duane and David (Sandy) Jussila; and his special friends, Jim Cook and Bill Pearl.

Ken had a deep love of the Lord and drew strength in his daily Bible reading and prayer. One of his favorite verses in which he drew strength was Isaiah 12:2-3, "Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the well of salvation."

A celebration of life was be held at the Gladstone Covenant Church, 305 South 9th St., Gladstone, on Monday, April 15. A memorial service officiated by Pastor Aaron Anderson and a catered luncheon followed.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gladstone Covenant Church, Delta County Cancer Alliance, and Delta Animal Shelter.

The family would like to offer a sincere thanks to OSF Health Care, Dr. Stephen Smith, OSF Hospital, UPHS Dr. Pesola, Dr. Napier, Fresenius Kidney Care Center, OSF Home Health (especially Brittany Kipp, Angie Odell and Jennifer Carter). The excellent care and support provided by everyone allowed Ken to remain at home surrounded by those he loved most.

The Jussila family is being assisted by the Skradski Family Funeral Home.

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