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Obituary: John J. Bodi

UPDATE: Houghton: John J. Bodi, a resident of the Bluffs in Houghton since 2012, passed away on December 21, 2018.

Graveside services with the Copper Country Veterans Association conducting military honors will be held in Section 2 of Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm.  A gathering reception of John’s family and friends will be held at the Bluffs at 1:00pm before the services.

The O’Neill-Dennis Funeral of Hancock is assisting with the arrangements.


John J. Bodi passed away in Marquette at UP Health hospital on Friday, December 21, 2018. He was born in Hancock in 1927 to Edna and George Bodi. In 1953 he married Clare Kapsh.

He grew up speaking Finnish, and because he was called Jussi at home, at school he went by his middle name James or Jimmy. After graduating from Dollar Bay High School at 17, he served in the Pacific during World War II aboard a PC boat. He attended Michigan Tech through the benefits of the GI Bill, and graduated with a degree in civil engineering.

He began his career as a construction superintendent, and you can still see some the projects he worked on, including plants at the Humboldt, Michigan mine and Eveleth Taconite in Minnesota, the St. Cloud, Minnesota water treatment plant, grain storage units along the Blatnick Bridge in Superior, Wisconsin, and the Schlitz Brewery in Memphis, Tennessee.

John started his family in Minnesota, followed jobs to the UP and back to Minnesota, settling finally in Chicagoland for 40+ years. He had an ear for how to tell a funny story, like about when he and Clare met. Though he could tell it better, it goes like this: He’d gone to her family’s home to pick up his brother’s skis which her sister had used for the Tech Winter Carnival queen competition. When he first laid eyes on the woman he would marry, she opened the door, angry that he had woken her up from a nap. He had good memories of music and dance after the war in the Copper Country, especially at the Bon Ton in Laurium, and declared Big Band music the only kind of music a person needed to listen to.

He was a golfer, learned to play bridge while he was in the Navy when the officers needed a fourth, and lived to see the Cubs win the World Series as well as the Bears clinch the NFC North.

He leaves behind two brothers, Peter and George, sons Sam and Jim and daughters Jane and Jeri. Clare and his sister June preceded him in death.

He’d been a resident at The Bluffs in Houghton since 2012, and was grateful for his time there. The family would like to thank the staff at The Bluffs for their kindness in welcoming John into their community. Being around interesting people and the stories they shared, meeting other veterans of war, participating in the many activities planned for residents, and rekindling Copper Country friendships kept him young at heart. We would also like to thank the nurses and doctors at UP Health for helping him with a dignified and peaceful death.

A graveside service is planned for Memorial Day. O’Neill-Dennis Funeral Home in Hancock is helping the family with the arrangements.

Online condolences may be left at oneilldennisfh.com

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