Albert A. IkkalaOctober 5, 1920 ~ January 13, 2018 (age 97)
Albert A. Ikkala, age 97, of Chatham, died early Saturday morning, January 13, 2018 at the Rennes East Health Center in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. He was born in Marquette, Michigan to Henry and Helmi (Jokinen) Ikkala. Growing up, Albert helped on the family farm. Al went to Eben High School where his nickname was Pat. He ran track and played basketball. Albert graduated from Eben High School in 1938. He started college at NMU and then in December of 1942, he entered into the U.S. Army. Al served in the South Pacific during WWII as a Staff Sergeant with the 123rd Infantry Regigment, 33rd Division and was honorably discharged in June 1946. He returned home and married Olive Helmi Holm on February 9, 1946 and together raised their three daughters. Albert became a teacher and taught in Munising and Trenary before moving his family to Rumely. He started teaching at Eben High School and was the school’s biology and conservation teacher. Mr. Ikkala coached basketball and also taught driver’s training, history, and he filled in for any teacher who could not make it in to school. He became the school’s principal and then superintendent. During those years, Albert also earned his Master’s Degree from Northern Michigan University. He retired from Eben High School in 1977. Al served as an interim administrator at Munising Memorial Hospital and he was a founding member of the Chatham Lions Club. He was an active member in the Ikkala Brothers V.F.W. Post #9714. Albert was a devout member of Sion Lutheran Church and he enjoyed watching Paul Kelto grow from a young child to the Pastor at Sion. He moved his family back to the family farm in Rumely in 1951 and continued farming while teaching at Eben. Selling the farm in 1988, he and Olive moved to Chatham. Albert enjoyed spending summers cutting pulpwood with George Hager who was Trenary’s superintendent. During his retirement years, Al enjoyed woodworking, gardening, golfing, cheering on the Green Bay Packers and reading.
He is survived by his three daughters – Dianne “DD” (Keith) Alto of Cadillac, MI, Carrie (Don) Thorley of Peshtigo, WI and Patti (Bill) Freniere of Edmond, OK; grandchildren – Susan Alto, Dan (Beth) Alto, Kimberly (Jeremy) Tietyen, Marianne (Tom) Evancheck, Kali Freniere, Billy Freniere; great grandchildren – Ashley, Hailey, Alexis Alto, Jake, Benjamin, Caroline Tietyen, and Michael Evancheck; sister – Helen Schallow of Geneseo, IL; and numerous nieces and nephews. Albert was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Hilma; wife – Olive who died in 1995; brothers - Aaro who died serving in WWII, Art who died serving in the Korean War, and Arnold Ikkala; sister – Elma Robertson.
Services will be held at the Sion Lutheran Church on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Pastor Paul Kelto will conduct Albert’s funeral service at noon. Interment will be at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Chatham in the spring where military honors will be conducted by the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans, and Ikkala Brothers V.F.W. Honor Guards. He will be escorted by sons-in-law and grandsons – Keith, Don, Bill, Billy, Dan, and Jeremy.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to be made to the Sion Lutheran Church or the Ikkala Brothers V.F.W. Post in Albert’s name.
Sion Lutheran Church
N5177 Rock River Street, Chatham MI 49816
Ikkala Brothers - VFW Post 9714
P.O. Box 322, Chatham MI 49816