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Obituary: Calvin Gantner

As received from the Jacobson Funeral Home:

Calvin Mathew Gantner, age 88, took his last breath on this earth and his first breath in Heaven on October 8, 2021 after a two year battle with cancer.

He was born in Herman, MI, on January 18, 1933, the son of Otto Gantner and Carolyn (Kayramo) Kyllonen. He graduated from Baraga High School in 1951 and married his high school sweetheart in 1953. He was drafted into the army two months later. While in the military he was trained in heavy equipment operation and became a crane operator. Several years after his honorable discharge, he applied for a crane operator job with the Michigan DNR in St. Charles, MI , and spent the next 28 years in that position. Calvin had the good fortune of qualifying for an “early out” program in 1984 which enabled him to retire at the young age of 51 and pursue other interests and hobbies. He felt very blessed to be able to do things he really enjoyed for 37 more years. Being a perfectionist at everything he did, he crafted some interesting and beautiful wood treasures that will be enjoyed for many more years by his family.

He moved back to the U.P. in 1998 and began developing his grandparent’s property where he was born. That has been an on-going project. Many months were delegated to making firewood every year to keep the house cozy in the winter months. His family and friends considered him an “expert” in firearms but he was always quick to disclaim that title. However, he was always willing to help whenever friends were experiencing problems. Reloading ammunition was another hobby he enjoyed and he taught that skill to several other people.

He married the former Margaret Ann Pelto in 1953 and they celebrated their 68th anniversary on January 10, 2021. Their children are Paula Quiniola of Waianae, HI, sons David of L’Anse and Craig (Mary) of St. Charles, MI, 4 granddaughters and 2 great grandsons.

He was predeceased by his parents, a brother Martin Danes, a son-in-law Gilbert Quiniola, 6 brothers-in-law, and 2 sisters-in-law.

He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren, sister Carolyn LeClaire, sisters-in-law Anita Lindblom, Martha Pelto, and Jean Pelto, and brother-in-law Mervin Pelto and many nieces and nephews.

He is a member of Grace Free Lutheran Church in Pelkie and served on the church board.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 14th from 10-11:00 a.m. at Grace Free Lutheran Church in Pelkie. Baraga County Area Veterans will conduct military rites at 11:00 a.m.under the direction of the American Legion Post 444 followed by his funeral service with Pastor David Hoskins officiating. A luncheon will follow in the church hall. Jacobson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Friends may sign Calvin’s guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com

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