LAURIUM — Francis J. Cloutier, 96, a resident of Gardenview Assisted Living Facility, died peacefully with his family by his side on March 11, 2018, at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital.
He was born on December 13, 1921, a son of Alphonse and Rose Cloutier in Laurium.
He was a graduate of Sacred Heart High School, Class of 1939, and married Violet Cane on December, 27, 1941. They had 74 wonderful years together.
Francis served in the United States Navy from February 17, 1943 to November 2, 1945, aboard the USS Argonne, a submarine and destroyer tender. He participated in the island hopping campaign in the South Pacific, most notably the liberation of the Philippine Islands, where he was a diesel mechanic on a landing craft and made a couple of beach landings for the Marines. He was a discharged as First Class Machinist Mate.
Following his return home, he worked for Calumet and Hecla as a diesel mechanic in the Roundhouse. He then operated Cane’s Taxi until the early fifties. He was a co-owner of Calumet Oil Company until 1984, when he retired.
He was a lifelong member of the VFW Post 3900, Council member and President of the Village of Laurium, member of the Elks Lodge 404, a board member of the Calumet Golf Course, Knights of Columbus, Laurium Housing Board and the Sacred Heart School Board.
Fran had many interests that kept him busy year round. He enjoyed hunting in Montana for over 20 years with his brother, Bob, and two years with his son, Carl, and grandson, Jason. He fished the “Big Lake” with several friends for many years. He was an excellent cribbage and pinochle player; he bowled at Miller’s for years. In May of 2013, he was on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. for the World War II Memorial with his son Carl. It was the trip of a lifetime.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 74 years, Violet; one son, Paul; his father, Alphonse; his mother, Rose; his sisters, Estelle (Carl) Malmquist, Elizabeth Dearing, Aurore (Dave) Waara, Genevieve (Mort) Eustice, Irene (Perry) Elliott, Bernadette (Wilbert) Aho and Valeda (Mike) Tomasi; and one brother, Robert (El Rita) Cloutier.
He is survived by his children, Carlos (Connie) Cloutier, Denise (Randy) Reed, Christopher (Cecile) Cloutier and Lauren Cloutier; his grandchildren, Jason (Jamie) Cloutier of Anoka, Minnesota, Renee Cloutier of White Bear Lake, Minnesota and Lance (Jamie) Thayer of Ishpeming; his great-grandchildren, Dalton Cloutier, Tehya Violet Cloutier, Jaden Cloutier and Vaughn Hansen; and numerous nieces and nephews who loved him dearly.
A special thank you to the staff at Gardenview for their loving care, and another special thank you to the doctors and nursing staff at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital for excellent, compassionate and professional care.
A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, 2018, at 11:30 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Church with Rev. Fr. Abraham Mupparathara to officiate. A luncheon will be served after the service.
Visitation will be Friday, March 23, 2018, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ryan Funeral Home with a prayer service at 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Calumet High School Scholarship Fund, St. Vincent DePaul of Hancock or Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly in Hancock.