Lawrence "Lawry" W. Kilpela, age 95, of Cokato, passed away Saturday, December 23, 2017, at his home in Cokato.
Memorial Services will be Wednesday, December 27, 2017, 1:00 P.M. at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church in Cokato. Interment in White Chapel Memorial Cemetery in Troy, Michigan, at a later date. Military Honors by the American Legion Post #483 of Dassel. Memorials preferrred to the American Cancer Society.
Gathering of Family and Friends will be Wednesday, December 27, 2017, from 11;00 A.M. until the time of service at the church.
Lawrence (Lawry) Wilbert Kilpela was born on March 19, 1922, in Laurium, Michigan. He was the son of John and Mary (Peterson) Kilpela. His father supported the family of nine children by working as an accountant. He grew up with four sisters and four brothers. Lawrence was baptized as an infant and was later confirmed in his faith as a youth. In his youth he enjoyed going out to his grandparent’s farm for extended periods of time, playing baseball with the neighbors and playing football and basketball in Calumet High School. He was a graduate of the Calumet High School Class of 1940. While in high school he really enjoyed working with wood and he absolutely loved working in wood shop. Most of his life he was a carpenter which allowed him to experience working in the Detroit Art institute, at the Detroit Lions Office and the Ford’s Greenfield Village in Dearborn.
Lawrence entered active military service in the United States Navy on February 16, 1943, in Detroit, Michigan, and served his country during World War II. He received an Honorable Discharge on February 7, 1946, at the United States Navy Personnel Separation Center in Great Lakes, Illinois, and achieved the rank of Carpenter’s Mate Third Class.
On September 21, 1945, Lawrence was united in marriage to Saima Juopa. This marriage was blessed with 12 children, Ann, Mike, Fred, Ilona, Rebeca, Jeff, Joseph, Wendy, Nora, Jill, Karen and one stillborn. Lawrence and Saima resided in Calumet, and later moved to the Detroit area. Lawrence and Saima shared 41 years of marriage.
On March 18, 1989, Lawrence was united in marriage to Louise Niemela in Cokato. Lawrence and Louise resided in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan, for nine years and later moved to Cokato. They shared 26 and one-half years of marriage before Louise passed away on September 1, 2015.
Lawrence was employed as a carpenter. He retired in 1985.
Lawrence was a member of the Carpenters Union. He was also a member of the Kingston Apostolic Lutheran Church.
Lawrence enjoyed custom woodworking, lake living and in his later years, snowmobiling. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family, grandchildren and friends.
Lawrence passed away on Saturday, December 23, 2017, at the age of 95 years.
Blessed be his memory.
Lawrence is survived by his:
Children, Ann Eskola (Jim) of West Bloomfield, MI,
Michael Kilpela (Cheryl) of Fowlerville, MI,
Frederick Kilpela (Trudy) of Cokato, MN,
Ilona Simonson of Deer Park, WA,
Jeff Kilpela (Karen) of Howell, MI,
Joseph Kilpela (Linda) of Howell, MI,
Wendy Wisuri (Bill) of Fowlerville, MI,
Nora Peterson (Karl) of Calumet, MI,
Jill Leukuma (Chuck) of Orono, MN,
Karen Grangroth (Wayne) of Cokato, MN,
Mike Niemela (Cheryl) of Cokato, MN,
Nathan Niemela (Nancy) of Cokato, MN,
Maria Borja (Marcelo) of Robbinsdale, MN,
Aaron Niemela (Bonnie),
Vincent Niemela (Brenda) of Calumet, MI,
Larry Niemela (Elizabeth) of Cokato, MN,
Joe Niemela of Cokato, MN,
Maurice Niemela (Sarah) of Cokato, MN,
Betsy Niemela of Minneapolis, MN,
Amy Niemela of Minneapolis, MN,
Great Great Grandchildren;
Son-In-Law, George Pennala of Livna, MI,
Sisters, Estelle of Loveland, CO,
Joan Peterson of Dassel, MN;
Many other relatives and friends.
Lawrence is preceded in death by his Parents, John and Mary Kilpela; Wife, Saima Kilpela; Wife, Louise Kilpela; Daughter, Rebecca Pennala; Grandson, Andy Kilpela; and Son-In-Law, Mark Simonson.