As received from the Pearce Funeral Home:
David Richard Hongisto, 74 of Lake Linden and Mission Texas, passed away unexpectedly (to his family) in McAllen, Texas on March 11, 2023.
He was born March 30, 1948, a twin son of Richard and Martha Hongisto. He attended Houghton schools. At the age of 18 he was drafted into the Army and fought in Vietnam where he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal and according to his stories visited the Stockade a few times. When he returned from the Army in 1969 he married the love of his life, Janet Beaudoin on August 9, 1969. They had three girls Tina, Kathy and Tammy, that were his pride and joy.
After working for Michigan Technological University for 28 years, he retired in 2003 having worked as the bus driver for many years, a heavy equipment operator, and grounds crew person. He took great pride in driving the various Tech teams and groups around to events. Taking care of the football field lawn (those who knew him, knew his pride in his grass), snow removal (when he retired, he said he never wanted to see snow again!) and fixing many other things that needed to be done (especially when he broke something). David and Janet also owned a store for several years in the Copper Country Mall in the 90’s called Special Gifts. He loved that store and hunting for treasures to sell that no one else had. Many Touch lamps from Special Gifts are still sitting in people’s homes.
Upon retirement David and Janet bought a truck and trailer and proceeded to live his dream of wintering in warm temperatures including, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Arizona. The last 12 years were mainly at Eldorado Acres RV Park in Mission, Texas. David would find different Senior Winter Campground facilities that needed a maintenance man. He enjoyed keeping busy and fixing things, if you needed it fixed, David would do it, or at least try. Camping was a favorite of David’s his entire life. When he was raising his family, camping was done all summer long every weekend. He would never tell his girls where they were going camping, just have the camper ready and when he got home on Friday after work, off we all would go on many amazing adventures. He wanted to have five years of those amazing adventures and travel upon retirement. He was blessed with just shy of 20 years and managed to visit 34 states in those travels (He didn’t hit all 50 as getting the RV to Hawaii would have been hard and Janet said she would never go over the mountains in an RV again with David driving).
You could always count on David to have the best stories around a campfire, party or anywhere! David loved to tell stories of his life adventures with a funny twist to them. His big booming voice could be heard with ease, no matter where he was, literally the man could not whisper. His grandkids loved those stories while growing up, their mother’s and his wife, not so much. David loved life and made sure to tell anyone who would listen about what a wonderful and blessed life he had. That we wanted for nothing, as long as Janet was by his side, and how proud he was of his wonderful family.
David was proceeded in death by his parents, twin brother Daniel, sisters June, Diane, nephews Charles and Kevin and niece Marlene. He is survived by his wife Janet, daughter Christina (Todd) Sarazin, Kathleen (Scott) LaBonte and Tammy (Joe) Pini. Grandchildren Christopher, Matthew (Allenca), Emma, Alexii (Matt), Thomas (Macy), Shyanne (Elijah), Stephanie (Shawn), Amanda (Alex) Nicolas (Samantha), James (Paige), Meghan (Kyle), Kayla and numerous Great Grandchildren. Sisters Catherine (Henry) Ohtonen, Delores (Chris) Kangas, Gail (Lawrence) Beaudoin. Brothers George (Joy) Hongisto, Bobby (Vanessa) Hongisto, and many nieces and nephews.
Condolences cards can be sent to Janet Hongisto, 1230 12th Street, Lake Linden MI 49945 (due to allergies, no flowers please). Per David’s request he was cremated and there will be no services, he will take his final journey in his RV with his Grandson James as the driver and son-in-law Joe as co-piolet in April. In his honor, for those who knew him, tell stories about him around your campfires this summer.
Online condolences may be left at pearcefuneralhome.com