Dollar Bay/Atlantic Mine
Roy R. Rajala died peacefully in Marquette County Medical Care Facility on March 4, 2017, in Marquette, MI at the age of 83. The family thanks the staff at Marquette County Medical Care Facility for their support and loving care of Roy.
Roy was born on October 3, 1933, in Atlantic Mine, MI to John and Mayme Rajala. He attended Redridge School and graduated from Houghton High School. In 1951, Roy enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves for seven years as a 2nd Class Machinery Repairman. Roy was introduced to Shirley Hiltunen by his brother Hubert (who was married to Shirley’s sister June). It was love-at-first-sight and Roy married Shirley on June 19, 1954, and first settled in Detroit then Livonia for a short time.
Roy worked in a Detroit machine shop, later worked at Rajala Brothers Drywall in Pinckney, MI with his brothers. He became co-owner of R&S Specialties in 1975 after moving to Marquette, MI with his family. They moved to Mason, MI where Roy worked one year in kitchen and bath sales before returning to Marquette in 1986. Roy started Rajala’s Kitchens in Negaunee as sole owner. He retired in 1991 and soon after moved with his wife to their lakeside home in Dollar Bay, MI to enjoy the summer months.
In the 59 years of marriage, the couple had five daughters. Roy taught them strong work ethic and created lifelong memories through camping, boating, snowmobiling, even hauling wood or working in the garage with him.
Roy was a skilled craftsman, fisherman, hunter, and builder. He built four of the eight homes he and his family lived in. He was a dedicated individual who loved family, fishing, golfing, snowmobiling, and the outdoors. Roy was creative, building his own outdoor putting green to picture frames, and loved to tinker in the garage for hours.
The retired couple loved to travel; destinations included Mexico, Japan, Hawaii, and numerous states coast-to-coast. Roy fondly shared travel stories and plenty of adventure pictures with their friends, especially of South Padre Island, TX and Gulf Shores, AL.
Roy was a member of the Home Builders Association of Michigan, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, and First Apostolic Lutheran Church.
Roy is survived by his siblings, Bertha Duva, Clarkston; Wilbert (Lucy) Rajala, Houghton; Clifford Rajala, Atlantic Mine; Dorothy Judnich, Houghton; daughters, Beverly (Jim) Heikkinen, Calumet; Barbara (Corey) LaPlaunt, Marquette; Brenda (Gary) Albright, Marquette; Bettie (Oscar) Sotomayor, Suffolk, VA; Becky Sue Becker, Lawrenceville, GA; 25 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren. Roy is preceded in death by his wife, Shirley; parents; brothers, Reuben, Hubert, Ronald, Robert; sister, Shirley.
Visitation will be 2 p.m. Saturday, March 11 followed by 4 p.m. service at Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Homes, 1017 W. Quincy St., Hancock, MI. Minister Roger Kangas will officiate the ceremony. A reception follows at First Apostolic Lutheran Church in Houghton. A spring burial will be held at Mountain View Cemetery, South Range
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to First Apostolic Lutheran Church at 19741 W Sharon Ave, Houghton, MI 49931 or Marquette County Medical Care Facility, 200 Saginaw St. Ishpeming, MI 49849.
This obituary and condolences are online at www.memorialchapel.net.