William A. "Pete" Haapala, 87, of Crystal Falls, Mich., passed away Saturday, April 15, 2017 at his home surrounded by his family. He was born October 28, 1929 in Crystal Falls, son of the late Albert and Fannie (Wuorenma) Haapala. Pete grew up in Crystal Falls and graduated from Crystal Falls High School, Class of 1949. He proudly served in the United States Army from 1951 until 1953 during the Korean Conflict. Pete worked for Johnson Outboard Motors in Waukegan, Ill. for 37 years, until his retirement in 1987. Pete enjoyed hunting, trout fishing, spending time in the woods, his garage and being at camp. He enjoyed tinkering and attending gun shows, auctions and garage sales. Pete was an avid Green Bay Packers and Detroit Tigers Fan. Most importantly, he enjoyed spending time with his family. He was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Amasa, Mich., the VFW and the American Legion where he was a life member. Pete was united in marriage to Barba Gelling on May 1, 1954 in Waukegan, Ill. They resided in Gurnee, Ill. before moving to Crystal Falls in 1987. Barba preceded him in death on January 7, 2014. Pete is survived by three sons; Keith (Cathy) Haapala, Crystal Falls, Mich., William "Wink" (Michele) Haapala, New Holstein, Wis. and Donald "Mutt" (Laura Spiewak) Haapala, Zion, Ill.; three daughters, Lori Rumer, Round Lake Beach, Ill., Beth (Craig) Nelson, Crystal Falls, Mich. and Kari (Kevin) Saum, Grayslake, Ill.; eight grandchildren, Brian (Shaunes), Josh, Kate (Joshua), Matthew, Anthony, Mitchell, Joey and Emilie; two great-grandchildren, Peter and Seiya; and by numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, and wife, Pete was preceded in death by one brother, John "Bob" Haapala and by one sister, Gertrude "Trudy" Kidwell. Visitation will be held Monday, April 24, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church, Amasa, Mich. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. at the church. Pastor Michael Laakko will officiate. The Eastside Veterans Council will accord Military Honors at graveside. Burial will be held at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Crystal Falls. Memorials in Pete's name have been suggested to Bethany Lutheran Church. You may light a candle in remembrance of Pete or leave a condolence for his family online at www.JacobsFuneralHomes.com . The family has chosen the Jacobs-Plowe Funeral Home, Crystal Falls, to honor Pete's legacy of life.
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