Roy Jurva

TWIN LAKES/ HANCOCK – Roy Jurva, 80, a resident of Twin Lakes and Hancock, passed away early Monday morning, August 26, 2013, at Portage Health – Hancock following a short illness.

Roy was born on March 2, 1933, in Onnela, a son of the late August and Hildur (Moilanen) Jurva. As a child, he moved with his family to Chassell and graduated from Chassell High School in 1951. He often bragged of being in the top 10 of his class (10 out of 10).

Mr. Jurva was a veteran having served with the United States Army being stationed at Ft. Lewis in Washington State. He then attended Soumi College and graduated from Michigan Technological University with a degree in Industrial Management.

On June 6, 1959, he was united in marriage to the former Ruth Maki.

The couple resided in Redford, Mich., while Roy was first employed with his brother-in-law in his heating and air conditioning business. He then began a career working for Ford Motor Company until his retirement 30 years later.

In retirement, Roy and Ruth returned to spend their summers in the beautiful Copper Country and would winter in Arizona, Florida, Georgia or California.

Mr. Jurva was a member of the Apostolic Lutheran Church of Southfield, Mich., Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock and more recently the First Apostolic Lutheran Church in Houghton. Roy was an active member of many organizations such as the Redford JCs. He was a founding member of the Finnish Center Association in Farmington, Mich., and was a member of the Moose Lodge, Post 6507 VFW Men’s Auxiliary of Chassell. He was also active with the Alzheimer’s Association and locally was a captain with the Alzheimer’s Association Memory walk.

Roy loved sports and enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren compete in different events as well as cheering on his MTU Huskies in all their sports. He especially enjoyed baseball and at the age of 70 was very proud to be able to wear an official Tiger uniform and play ball at Detroit Tigers Fantasy Camp. He said pitching from the mound at Comerica Park was worth ending up on the DL with a bum knee.

He and Ruth loved to travel and visit with his many friends and relatives and Roy was either “related to or knew just about everybody.” He curbed his traveling recently to devote himself to his loving wife but that did not curtail his visiting. The loss of his big heart, welcoming spirit and caring personality will leave a big void that will surely be filled by the hearts, spirit and caring of all those who knew him.

Recently Roy enjoyed planting a “Memory Orchard” at the family farm in Twin Lakes. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages you to give to the Alzheimers Asscociation Memory walk ( TR/Walk/MI GreaterMichigan?fr_id= 3436 &pg=entry), or to plant a tree in the memory of someone you love.

The family would like to sincerely thank all those wonderful people at the Houghton County Medical Care facility for their loving care of, not only Ruth, but the ever-present Roy.

Preceding him in death were his parents, his siblings, Bill, Melvin, Ruth, Lorna, Gerald, Jack, and Alvar .

Surviving are his wife, Ruth Jurva; children, Suzanne (Joe Ehlinger) Jurva of Cumming, Ga, Michael Jurva of Howell, Mich, Mark Jurva of Portland, Ore., and Philip (Rachel) Jurva of San Diego, Calif.; grandchildren, Maija-Liisa, Alex, Daniel, Jason, Cyan, Eero, and Matilda; brothers & sisters, Weldon Jurva of Lake Linden, Paul Jurva of Detroit, Annabelle (Oliver) Kyllonen of Detroit, Geraldine (Harley) Zierer of Waterford, Wis, Betty Jane Jurva of Detroit; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins around the world and “Everyone in the Copper Country.”

Funeral services for Roy will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, August 31, 2013, in the Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Hancock with Elmer Liimatta to officiate. Burial will be in the Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock where military honors will be conducted.

Friends may call on Friday, August 30, 2013, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Hancock and on Saturday from 10 a.m. until time of services at the funeral home.

To view Roy’s obituary or to send condolences to the family please visit

The Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Hancock is assisting the family with the arrangements.