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Obituary: Raymond G. Laitila

As received from the Reid Funeral Service and Chapel:

The Life and Love of Raymond G. Laitila

Raymond “Tuffy” Laitila, age 83 of Pelkie MI (Askel Hill) passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, May 28, 2023 at his home.

Raymond was born in his family’s log cabin on Askel Hill, MI, December 31, 1939 the second son of the late Elsie V. (Heikkinen) and Raymond A. Laitila, He attended Detroit area schools including Washington Trade School.

Marrying Kathleen Hoffmeyer in Detroit on January 29, 1960 the couple enjoyed a lifetime of dedicated love and support as their proud growing family gathered around them.

Raymond began his career in construction in the Detroit area, retiring in the Upper Peninsula, Local 1510 as a Millwright. Ray traveled for his work locally and out of the area forming friendships he would continue well past his working days.

Alongside his wife, Ray renovated the family homestead upon the couple’s retirement, hosting numerous family reunions and events over the years, continuing their welcoming hospitality they had begun when the couple moved their family from the Detroit area in 1975 to Askel Hill.

The couple embraced all who entered their home with fresh coffee, good conversation and laughter.

Always the laughter, welcoming their neighbors, friends, relatives, their children’s and grandchildren’s friends and extended families, the household invited all visiting from near and far.

Ray was a lifelong avid outdoorsman, enjoying rabbit hunting with his beloved beagles, raccoon hunting with his trusted hounds, deer hunting every year, antelope hunting out west, fishing throughout every season, always including his wife, his daughters, his grandchildren, or friends and relatives. Sharing these times with others meant so much to him.

Enjoying their retirement Ray and Kathy traveled throughout the country visiting loved ones along the way.

Ray’s dream vacation with his wife and family members was driving to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska allowing for the ultimate fishing experience with travel camping stories he shared over the years as he recollected the details of each stop they made along the way.

Ray’s good nature, humor and great story telling is cherished by all who knew and loved him.

He was at the ready to be there for family and friends over the years offering his talents with any project.

Sharing his knowledge with younger generations, he will be remembered for this generosity throughout his life as the generation before Ray had done for him.

Known to assist many a stranded motorist in any weather he crossed paths with be it a friend or stranger, he was always only a phone call away.

Ray’s work ethic and willingness to be there for others inspired us all.

Taking his family to Detroit Tigers and Red Wing games early on, the family shared watching the games with Ray throughout his life.

Attending his children and grandchildren’s school and sporting events and their life milestone important events throughout the years were always of great importance to Ray along with being at bedsides of numerous friends and relatives, his compassionate heart and kindness comforted many.

Ray is survived by his loving wife, Kathy of Pelkie MI (Askel Hill), daughters Debra (John) Lindblom of Baraga MI, Renee Laitila of Askel Hill MI and Rachel (Willy) Laitila Yeates of Mooresville NC, grandchildren Cale (Becky) Lyttinen of Atlantic Mine MI, Sarah Simons (Michael) of Wilmington NC, Emily Kanasty (Chris) of Marquette MI, Baxter Laitila Yeates (Alyah) and Lundy Laitila Yeates (Emma) all of Mooresville NC, great grandchildren, Damien and Kylie both of Marquette MI and special relative, Joan Laitila of Keweenaw Bay MI.

Along with sister’s in-law and a brother in-law, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends also survive.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, his 14-year-old brother Harold and a grandson in-law David Simons.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt appreciation to Penny and Melissa of Aspirus Keweenaw for their weekly healthcare for Ray. 

With his life’s love at his side, we will most remember our dad and grandpa/papa as a family man who gave his all, to us all, no matter when or where, his ever-present SISU persevered lovingly, overcoming any obstacle to see us through.

A life well lived. A life well loved.


A celebration of Ray’s life and burial in the Kärki/Kargi Cemetery is planned for August 5, 2023 and will be announced at that time. 

Raymond’s obituary may also be viewed and condolences sent to the family at www.reidfuneralservicechapel.com

The Reid Funeral Service and Chapel, L’Anse MI has been entrusted with the arrangements. 

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