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Obituary: Joseph E Reilly

As received from the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home:

Joseph E Reilly, 91, of Bootjack, Michigan, passed away peacefully at home with his wife Barbara of 70 years, by his side. Joe married his beloved wife on May 26,1951 at St. Mary’s Church in Calumet, Michigan. He was a graduate of Sacred Heart High School in Laurium with the Class of 1948.

Joe’s talents were many. He worked for Mattila Construction for over 20 years. He was also a volunteer firefighter for Laurium, a miner for C & H, a union carpenter man, and an extremely accomplished builder. He worked three jobs, and three shifts most of his life. After retirement, he continued to work on projects regularly—often building various things for friends and family.

Some of the buildings Joe constructed throughout his life include the Superior Motel in Laurium, their house on Lake Linden Avenue, his current house on Bootjack Road, and other countless remodeling projects. He often tore down buildings to make use of the lumber for new builds.

Joe was also a successful business owner. He and Barb ran the Superior Motel, as well as the Superior Inn Restaurant.

Joe had many hobbies, but his favorite was hunting. Every November, he was always certain to be at the “Bruneau Creek Camp” with his hunting buddies. This was his second home, where he enjoyed spending time with many wonderful friends and family members.  He was a member of the NRA, and traveled to many states to hunt various game. He was a notable, avid, successful hunter.

Joe was also a well-known outdoorsman and he enjoyed many years of fishing and diving.

In his younger years, he also loved to ride motorcycles. He and Barb enjoyed riding whenever they had the chance—except for the one memorable story when they rode to Detroit. They were on their way home with horrible weather–Barb decided to take the bus. Joe ended up broken down and ultimately had to finish the ride in a snowstorm. He has told many stories about the crazy looks he received during that ride in the snowstorm.

Preceded in death by his parents James and Margaret (Guilo) Reilly, and his five sons Lon, Daniel, Fred, Shawn and Little Joe. Joe is survived by his wife Barbara (Mattila) Reilly; grandchildren, Jesse Reilly, Jamie (Josh) Geasey, Aaron (Amber) Reilly, Heather (Jimmy) French, Chrissy (Matt) Gilley, Jennifer (Robert) Freeze and Hannah Reilly. Also, survived by 3 daughter-in-laws Theresa Reilly, Lorri Reilly and Thurza Mathes; numerous great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews; sister-in-laws, Flo Sorvala, Lois (Weldon) Gaulin, Betty Mattila and brother-in-law, Roy Bonini. 

Joe had a witty sense of humor, and truly had a special relationship with each of his many friends and family. He genuinely loved and valued all of them. When he spoke, the room went silent to hear him tell a story, crack a joke, or share some of his wisdom from a lifetime of experiences.

Friends may call at the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home on Friday July 30, 2021 from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm. The memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Friday July 30, 2021 at the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home with Pastor Tony Laidlaw.

Burial will take place at the Lake View Cemetery.

Online condolences for the family may be left at www.ericksoncrowleypeterson.com

The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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