Elmer Johannes Haltunen

Traprock Valley
Died October 28, 2012
October 28, 2012                                Traprock

Elmer Johannes Haltunen, 98, of Traprock Valley passed away on October 28, 2012 at the home in which he was born; surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on May 11, 1914 to Vieno Haltunen Harjala. He attended school in Copper City and graduated from Gay School.

Elmer had a long and varied career starting as a commercial fisherman. For a brief period of time he and his family moved to Detroit where he was employed by the Excello Corporation. Returning to the Copper Country he was employed by C & H Mining Co. as a miner. He later became a law enforcement officer and worked  for the Villages of Copper City, Laurium, Calumet, Lake Linden and the City of Hancock. He was deputized by both Houghton and Keweenaw County Sherriff Departments. Elmer owned and operated Haltunen Sand & Gravel Inc. retiring at the age of 77.

He loved the great outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping. He claimed to have walked the entire Keweenaw north of Portage Canal. He said he wore out three pair of snow shoes and a pair of knees in his lifetime.

Elmer married the love of his life, Gwendolyn Pirkola and they celebrated 78 years of marriage on June 17, 2012. Together they had 6 children, 15 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.

Elmer was a former member of the Copper Country Law Enforcement Association, CLK Sportsman Club and board member of the Keweenaw Co-op.

Preceding him in death was his parents, daughter Loretta Winquist, sons in law: Laurence Bausano, Ordon Winquist and John Schmid, grandchildren: Brock Kipina and Laura Bausano, brothers: Arthur and Leonard Harjala, sister: Leona Wolverton, special aunt Holi Deinzer and other aunts, uncles and cousins.

He is survived by his wife of 78 years Gwen

Son: Lee (Judy) Haltunen

Daughters: Joan Schmid, Beverly (Reid) Rastello, Bonnie (Daniel) Kipina and Cheryl (Ronald) Laurie

14 grandchildren: Michael, Shelley, Carole, Cathy, Rodd, Leanne, Lori, Reid, Jay, Justin, Kerry, Holli, Teddy and Amanda

25 great grandchildren

Brothers: Edward (Dorothy) Harjala, Albert (Lillian) Harjala, Wesley (Shirley) Harjala

Sister: Laila Makie

Sisters in law: Marie Harjala and Martha Harjala

Numerous nieces and nephews.

At Elmer's request there will be no public visitation. A private family funeral service will be held in the Erickson Crowley Funeral Home in Calumet with Rev. Ken Toth to officiate.

Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Ahmeek.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy memorials may be given to Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly 527 Hancock Street Hancock, MI 49930 or Keweenaw Home Health & Hospice 311 6thStreet Calumet, MI 49913.

Online condolences and remembrances may be left for the family at

Online Condolences
From: kim spelich
  copper city, mi
  Gwen and family, you have our deepest sympathy in the loss of your husband and father.He will be remembered by many.

Dan & kim Spelich
From: Eric Makkonen
  Saddened to hear of Elmer's passing. I always enjoyed the visits with him and the stories he had told me.He was a wonderful man for whom I will always remember.Eric Makkonen
From: Les Harjala
  Forest Grove OR
  Gwen and family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you in the passing of husband, father, grandfather and uncle Elmer.
Love Les and Lenny Harjala
From: Terry & Carol Clouthier
  Lake Linden, MI
  Haltunen Family~
So sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Terry & Carol Clouthier
From: MaryAnn Gruver
  Dear Gwen,Lee,Joan,Bev,Bonnie,Cheryl and families.
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Elmer.
My Heartfelt Sympathy goes out to all of you. What a great person Elmer was.We dont remember the days but you will always remember the moments that you shared with him.
My heart goes out to all of you.
From: John and Helen Sullivan
  Houghton, MI
  Our sincere sympathy is extended to Elmer's family. Your many great memories and our Lord will sustain you now and in the coming days.
God bless you all.
From: Dan & Marsha (Pirkola) Klein, Marc & Chris
  We were so sorry to read that Elmer was gone. Marc loved coming to the farm when he delivered oil and got to sit with Elmer and listen to his stories. All our best wishes to all of you!
From: Rainell Edwards-Monarch and family
  Fowlerville, MI
  Our deepest condolences to Auntie Gwen and everyone in the family. We will surely miss Uncle Elmer. But we will always have our fond memories and lots of fun stories to recall. Prayers and well wishes to all of the family.
-Rainey and family: Heather, Dakota and Bob.
From: David and Colleen Aird
  Orland Park IL
  To the Haltunen Family,

The thoughts and prayers of my family are with your entire family during this difficult time. May God Bless You all.

David Aird
From: Lionel and Patricia Lauren
  Gwinn, Michigan
  We are sorry to hear of Elmer's passing.
We're happy we got to see him and Gwen the last time we were in the Keweenaw.
May God Bless.
From: Karla HYrkas
  Sorry to for your loss. I had some good times growing up coming to the farm. Elmer will be missed by all that knew him. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

Karla HYrkas
From: Joe Koenig
  Jenison, MI
  I never knew Mr. Haltunen, just his son, LeRoy. I worked with LeRoy in the Michigan State Police. Since the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I can say with confidence that Elmer Haltunen was a fine and generous man. He would have been proud of his son. I know his son was proud of him. We are all better because of the Haltunens. I know I am.

My condolences to LeRoy and a wonderful family.
From: Derrill and Jean Laurie
  Mohawk, MI
  We send our condolences. It has been a pure pleasure to have know your dad for all of these years and listen to all the old stories. Our love goes out to Gwen and family. We are thinking of you in this very sad time.
From: Rose Chopp-Harju
  Calumet, MI
  My Heartfelt Sympathy to you all in the passing of Dear Elmer. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of sorrow. I will always remember him for the wonderful person that he was. He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. May the wonderful memories of your life together help you through this most difficult time. May you find comfort in knowing that Elmer is at rest and Safe in the Arms of Our Dear Lord Jesus. May God Bless you and be with you always.
From: Roger and Melissa Pirkola
  Fernandina Beach FL
  Our deepest sympathy for your loss. You are in our thoughts. Prayers for peace and comfort for Gwen and the rest of the family. He will be greatly missed!
From: Dorothy Murvich Koski
  South Lyon, MI
  While reading the Gazette on line this evening, I found Elmer's obituary. I'm so sorry to hear about his passing - I can't believe he was 98 years old. I remember him so well from living in Copper City. He even put a new roof on our house many years ago. Please know that I offer my most sincere sympathy to all - especially to Joan & Lee whom we grew up with. So sorry for your loss.

Dorothy Koski
From: Julie Resch
  Ada, Michigan
  I am sorry for your loss to you Carole and to your whole family who lost a great man such as your Grandfather. May God's Blessings fall on your family and welcome your Grandfather into his new home in Heaven. May your hearts heal swiftly and may you always remember the memories you all shared.

Love to you all,
The Resch Family
From: Al & Rita Harjala
  Torrance, CA
  Gwen & cousins, Condolences on the loss of your husband & Dad. Many memories of Elmer thru the years and while growing up next door.
Love you all, Al & Rita
From: John Wolverton and Family
  Picayune, MS
  I am so saddened to hear of Uncle Elmers passing. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. He was such a fun and lovable person. Now mom and everyone else in Heaven will get to hear some good jokes!!
John, Deirdre, Justin and Emily Wolverton
From: Marie Lempea
  mohawk MI
  Deepest sympathies to Gwen and her family on the passing of Elmer - he will be fondly remembered.Prayers are with you all. Marie
From: April Taylor
  Muskegon Michigan
  I am very sorry for your loss! My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I am so thankful I had the oppertunity to meet grandpa. Love you all!