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Ripley: Arnold V. “Red” Laitinen, 94, a longtime resident of Ripley, passed away on Thursday morning, March 7, 2019 at the Omega House in Houghton.
He was born in Bootjack on April 3, 1924, a son of the late Edward and Ida (Mantta) Laitinen. After attending schools in Bootjack and Ripley, he later graduated from Hancock High School.
During World War II, Arnold served in the United States Army as a PFC, deployed with the 102nd Infantry Division in Europe from 1943 to 1946. He returned to the area to work at Atlas Powder Company in Senter Location from 1952 to 1960. He then worked in construction from 1960 until the time of his retirement at age 63.
He was married to LaVerne Tieva in Detroit on April 6, 1949. She preceded him in death in 2000.
Arnold was a member of the Rangers Post #6165 V.F.W. of South Range, and the Laborers' International Union of North America Local #1329. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and gardening. He also liked meeting his friends for coffee and spending time with his family in Bootjack.
Besides his parents and wife, he was also preceded in death by his brothers John and Albert, and by his sisters Aileen Rocchi, Irma Aho, Betty Autio, and Evelyn Ralph.
Arnold is survived by his sons Stephen (Teresa) Laitinen of Texas and Michael Laitinen of Minnesota; his daughters Mary “Mickey” Laitinen, Margaret (Paul) Champagne, and Sheila Laitinen, all of Ripley; grandchildren Jessica and Ashley Laitinen; many nieces and nephews who were very close to his heart; and by many neighbors and friends, especially Ed Sleeman of Ripley.
Graveside funeral services are planned for the spring at the family lot of Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock conducted by the Copper Country Veterans Association and the Rangers V.F.W. Post 6165. The O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home of Hancock is assisting with the arrangements. Please go to www.oneilldennisfh.com to leave online condolences.
Memorials in lieu of flowers may be directed to the Omega House, 2211 Maureen Lane, Houghton, MI 49931 or to the charity of the donors choice.