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Obituary: John H. Austin

As received from Memorial Chapel Funeral and Cremation Service:

John H. Austin, 79, a resident of Calumet and Painesdale, passed away Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at his daughter’s home surrounded by family following a lengthy illness.

John was born on May 11, 1944, at the Copper Range Hospital in Trimountain to the late Henry L. “Hank” and Hazel “Joyce” (Austin) Ahrens. John’s mother passed away 6 days after giving birth to his sister Betty Joyce while his father was overseas in the service. John and Betty Joyce were then adopted and raised by their grandparents, Stephen and Jeanette Austin, along with their brother and sister-in-law Stephen Donald and Eileen Judith Austin. After 30 years, John’s father Hank reconciled with John until Hank passed away.

John attended Adams Township Schools until tenth grade where he would leave to work in the Copper Mines.

John was united in marriage to the former Arlene Woodward-Raffaelli and instantly became a father of Arlene’s 5 children who he cherished as his own. John and Arlene would then have two children together, Lisa and Melanie. Arlene preceded John in death in 1989.

Papa John was a quiet, friendly, easy-going, hardworking man who always had a smile. He worked for the Painesdale Texaco Gas Station, Copper Range Champion Mine, Crown Bakery, Parkside Bakery, Red Owl as a Dairy Manager, Vollwerth Co. and retired from Peninsula Copper Industries.

Following his retirement, John continued to work odd jobs for people just to help them out and keep himself occupied. Duct tape was his tool and would say “if you can’t fix it, duct tape will.” John also loved spending time at the Brunner “Porcupine Lodge” deer camp on the Pike Lake Road. It was a peaceful place and if he could have, he would have lived there without running water or power. He loved the outdoors and any activity outside, including sitting on his porch in Laurium and waving to walkers as the passed by.

John had a love for jellybeans, peanuts, and popcorn which his aides and assistants would always find in his lazy boy or bed. He also had a love for cars from the 1940s through 1960s, having a room in his house dedicated to his hobby of collecting classic metal model cars.

John will be truly missed by his family and especially his daughter and caregiver, Lisa, along with his Black Lab companion, Winnie the Pooh.

Preceding John in death are his parents, Hank and Joyce Aherns, grandparents, Stephen and Jeanette Austin, siblings Jean Oates, Lois Adams, Stephen Donald Austin, and Betty Joyce Narhi.

John is survived by his children; Lisa (David) Mattila of Painesdale

                                                    Melanie (Chris) Huguet & their children Morgan & Oriana Huguet of Cedar Rapids, IA

                             Stepchildren; Thomas (Janet) Raffaelli of Dearborn Heights

                                                    David (Becky) Raffaelli of Donken

                                                    Sandra Raffaelli (Greg Chopp) of Oskar Bay

                                                    Susan (Gerald) Chopp of Painesdale

                                                    Steven (Cindy) Raffaelli of Toivola

                                                    15 Grandchildren and 12 Great Grandchildren

                                    A special God Child, Steven Voelker

                        Numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

The family would like to extend many thanks and appreciation to Portage Home Health and Aides, Tammy Nettell and UPCAP staff, Jaimie Rowe, Dr. Janners, Dr. Woltman, Portage Dialysis Crew, Portage ER, Mercy EMS, Hospice Staff, B&B Medical Transports, Greentree of Hubbell Staff and Canal View 3rd Floor Staff and anyone else who had assisted John overtime.

Funeral Services for John will be held at 11 am Saturday, December 9, 2023, at the Albert Paine Methodist Church in Painesdale with Pastor Eric Faulker to officiate. Spring burial will be in the Mt. View Cemetery of South Range.

Friends may call on Friday, December 8, 2023, from 4-8 pm at the Memorial Chapel Funeral Home- Mt. View Chapel in South Range and again on Saturday from 10 am until the time of services at the church.

To view this obituary or to send condolences online, please visit www.memorialchapel.net.

The Memorial Chapel Funeral & Cremation Service – Mt. View Chapel of South Range is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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