Paul Rudolph Tahtinen, age 89, of Pelkie, passed away on May 23, 2018 at his home.
He was born January 23, 1929 in Baraga, MI, son of Charles and Nelmi (Sysimetsa) Tahtinen. Rudy graduated from Baraga High School in 1947. In 1950 he married the love of his life, Ellen Saarinen of Watton, and they were together for 64 years. Rudy served in the Korean War as a radio operator. Upon his return, he was employed at the Pelkie Co-op as a butcher for a few years, and then as a U.S. Postal Service rural mail carrier for 33 years, retiring in 1993. Rudy loved his job and never took a single sick day in all those years. He went above and beyond for his postal patrons, and often said, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.” When there was a blizzard he’d hook up his plow and head out, saying “The mail must go through!” Upon retiring, he was honored in Lansing for his impeccable record.
After his retirement, he and Ellen did a lot of traveling. Rudy was a loving husband and a faithful and steadfast provider for his family. He loved to ski, snowshoe, play hockey, fish, and tend to his huge vegetable garden. He was an avid Detroit Tiger and Lions fan. Always robust, optimistic, energetic, confident, and cheerful, he lived his life with gusto and a can-do attitude. Rudy tenderly cared for Ellen after she became ill, for the last eleven years of her life. He beat cancer twice, and died doing what he loved–working outside in his yard.
Surviving are his four children, Cynthia Tahtinen (Brian Louther) of Madison, WI, Debbie (Tom) Clisch of Alston, Paul (Jackie) Tahtinen of Pelkie, Dixie Pelto of Rapid River, eight grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, beloved wife Ellen, siblings Edwin Tahtinen, Anne Juntunen, Norman Tahtinen, and Helen Wayrynen, and son-in-law Tim Pelto.
Visitation will be on Sunday, July 8 from 2-3 PM at Jacobson Funeral Home. A memorial service will follow at 3 PM with the Baraga County Veterans conducting military rites under the direction of the American Legion 444. A luncheon will follow in The Sharing Room at Jacobson Funeral Home. Burial will be at the Pelkie cemetery.
Friends may sign Paul’s guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuenralhome.com