Roger Elmer Kargela, 75, a resident of Calumet passed away peacefully on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain.
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He was born on April 17, 1944 in Laurium to William and Elma (Aho) Kargela. He attended Calumet High School and graduated with the Class of 1962.
Roger worked for General Motors in Flint before moving back to the Copper Country where he worked at UPPCO as a lineman and meter reader until his retirement.
Roger was a Veteran, having served in the United States Army from 1963-1965.
Roger was an avid sports fan who followed the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Detroit Red Wings and Michigan Wolverines. He had encyclopedia like knowledge of sports and could recall numerous statistics across the professional and collegiate leagues. His favorite sport was baseball which he loved since childhood. He would listen to Tigers games on the radio as a boy and fill out the box scores for each game and keep scrap books of the famous players of the day. His favorite Tiger was Al Kaline.
Roger was extremely proud of his Finnish heritage. He was a loyal viewer of “Finland Calling” and rooted for Finnish athletes in any sport, including hockey, ski jumping and Formula One racing.
Roger enjoyed bowling, fishing, hunting and watching the freighters as they crossed Lake Superior. He also volunteered as a coach on his son’s hockey teams.
Roger will be remembered as a kind and decent man who was caring and compassionate. He faced life’s challenges with dignity and always did his best to be his best.
He was preceded in death by his life partner Maureen “Mo” Kupari; parents, William and Elma Kargela, sister Dorothy; brothers William “Irving”, Carl “Alcho” and James “Jimbo”.
He is survived by:
His sons: Mike Kargela of Roseville, MN and Mark (Mallory) Kargela of Phoenix, Arizona.
Step-son: Jim (Debbie) Berryman of Laurium
His grandchildren: Evelyn Kargela of Phoenix, AZ, Jake (Sarah) Berryman of Pensacola, FL, and Jessica Berryman of Laurium.
His brothers: Dan Kargela of Swedetown
George (Karen) Kargela of Swedetown
John “Jack” Kargela of Auburn Hills, MI
His sister: Helen (Ron) Whiton of Swedetown
And numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday May 16, 2020 in Lake View Cemetery in Calumet with the Copper Country Veterans Association to officiate.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, donations can be made in Roger’s honor to the Hospice Fund for the Community Living Center at the Iron Mountain VA Medical Center or the Copper Country Veterans Association.
Checks can be made out to OGJ VA Medical Center – CLC Hospice Fund and sent to:
Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center
325 East H Street
Iron Mountain, MI, 49801
Donation information for the Copper Country Veterans Association can be obtained by calling 906-482-0102.
Online condolences for the family may be left at www.ericksoncrowleypeterson.com