Cover photo for Leonard A. Rukkila's Obituary
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1928 Leonard 2023

Leonard A. Rukkila

May 4, 1928 — February 3, 2023


Leonard A. Rukkila, age 94, of Negaunee and formerly of Eben Jct, died early Friday morning, February 3, 2023 at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette where he had been a resident for two months. Leonard was born on May 4, 1928 in Escanaba, the son of Hugo and Jennie (Norlund) Rukkila.

Leonard spent his early years growing up in both Rock and Eben Jct. Michigan. He graduated from Eben High School.

Leonard served as a military policeman during the U.S. WWII occupation of Japan (1946-1948).  He earned the WWII Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal.  After his discharge in 1948, he married Marcella “Marcy” Wester on November 13, 1948.  Together they raised their five children.

Leonard served his Country again during the Korean conflict (1950-1951), serving with the 8th Calvary Regiment where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge and Korean Service Metal.  He was a member of the Chatham, Mi V.F.W. Post 9714 since 1946 and a member of American Legion Post 370 for 30 years.

Leonard Joined the Michigan State Police in 1957, retiring with the rank of Sergeant in 1981. He served the MSP at the St. Ignace, Erie, Wakefield and Ypsilanti Posts.  After his retirement from the MSP Leonard served as the Deputy Chief of Police for the City of Romulus, Mi for ten years.

Leonard enjoyed being with his family-particularly his grandchildren and great grandchildren, playing cards and having an occasional cigar when “he had the time for one” and reading western and history literature.

Leonard was preceded in death by his parents Hugo and Jennie Rukkila, his wife of 67 years Marcella, his son Rodney and his grandson Rodney Leonard, brother Neil Marvin Rukkila, brother-in-law Jerome Wester and sister-in-law Beverly Freeman.

He is survived by children – Christine (Daniel) Hendrickson of Negaunee, Bruce (Patricia) Rukkila of Houghton, Shelley (Paul) Koski of New London, Wisconsin, David (Patti) Rukkila of Milan, MI and Daughter in law Dawna (Rodney) Rukkila of Fenton, MI, Sister-in-law Karen (Vern) Perry of Citrus Springs, FL and brother-in-law Jack Wester (Alger, MI); 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and a half-sister Loretta (Jim) Kinnen, Frazee, MN.

Dad, you left us with love for all. You will be forever missed.

Services will be held at the Sion Lutheran Church in Chatham on Friday, May 12, 2023.  The Michigan State Police Honor Guard will be there for the visiting time with family and friends from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.   Pastor Paul Kelto, Chaplain of the Michigan State Police will conduct Leonard's memorial service at 11:00 a.m.   Graveside services and military honors will take place at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Chatham following the memorial service. Memorial contributions are suggested to VFW Post #9714, Chatham, MI.

The family wishes to express a sincere thank you and gratitude to the entire staff of the Jacobetti Home for Veterans for their excellent care, compassion and kindness.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leonard A. Rukkila, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visiting time with family and friends

Friday, May 12, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, May 12, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Military Honors

Friday, May 12, 2023

Starts at 11:45 pm (Eastern time)

Pine Grove Cemetery, Chatham

, Chatham, MI 49816

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