LeRoy Allen Savola, age 77, of Chatham, died unexpectedly early Saturday morning, August 31, 2019 at UPHS Marquette. He was born the third youngest of eleven children to William and Gertrude (Manner) Savola on February 3, 1942 in Marquette, Michigan. LeRoy grew up on the family farm in Trenary and graduated from Trenary High School in 1960. He joined the U.S. Army on February 7, 1964 and was stationed in West Germany when he worked as an auto mechanic. During his time in the Army, LeRoy was able to take his leave time to visit Finland and his extended family. He was honorably discharged on January 26, 1967 and returned the U.P. In 1968, LeRoy married Juanita Ellis and together they raised their five children. He worked at Guidebeck Chevrolet in Munising until 1979. LeRoy then went to work at Fred’s Service in Chatham and worked there until 1987. He began employment as a diesel mechanic with the Alger County Road Commission and retired from there in 2004. Throughout all of LeRoy’s working career, he was able to continue his passion of working on cars and engines that started when he was a young man around the age of twelve. On December 21, 1995, he married Mary Jane Bonner and she preceded him in death on January 20, 2005. LeRoy was a member of the American Legion and of Sion Lutheran Church. He and his longtime girlfriend, Sharon Vierk enjoyed going out to restaurants together and sharing their love of music – especially country music. LeRoy enjoyed listening to Sharon play the fiddle in her bands. He stayed apprised of current events by reading the newspaper twice and watching the local and national news. LeRoy loved his Finnish heritage including the sauna, pasties, and juustoa.
He is survived by four children – Scott (Sara) Savola of Marinette, WI, Kelli (Chad) Whitman of Rainbow, CA, Stacy Wright of Appleton, WI, and Jason Savola of Abbotsford, WI; eight grandchildren – Jaiden, Delainey, Leah, Allison, David, Brandon, Reece, and Hailey; great grandson – James; sisters – Eleanor Paterick, Nancy Zellow, Irma Lesnecki, Arlene Shaw, and Sally Mullaly; numerous nieces and nephews; and longtime girlfriend – Sharon Vierk of Sundell. LeRoy was preceded in death by his parents, his son Ryan Savola on July 26, 2003, wife Mary Jane, and siblings Walter Savola, Arthur Savola, Lila Pischel, Norma Viau, and Lillian Trotter.
Visitation will be held at the Bowerman Funeral Home on Sunday, September 8, 2019 from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. and also at the Sion Lutheran Church on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Pastor Paul Kelto will conduct LeRoy’s funeral service at Sion Lutheran Church in Chatham on Monday, September 9, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Chatham where the American Legion and Vietnam Veterans Honor Guard will conduct military honors.