CRYSTAL FALLS - Gene Raymond Korhonen, 68, of Crystal Falls, passed away at his beloved lake house in Watersmeet on Thursday, May 30, 2013.
Gene was born to the late Uno and Lorraine (Sipponen) Korhonen on Nov. 6, 1944, in Ironwood. He graduated from Ironwood High School in 1963. Upon completing high school, he enlisted in the United States Army to serve his country in Vietnam.
Gene arrived in Saigon on Nov. 5, 1964 - where he served in the 7th RRU, first Platoon, 101st RRC - and remained there until May 1966 when he returned to Fort Bragg. He returned for another tour in October 1966, this time in Danang, where he remained until August 1967, at which time he returned to San Francisco to be honorably discharged from the service. At the time of his discharge he was ranked as E-5 Sergeant.
After his discharge from the Army, Gene attended Gogebic Community College and Northern Michigan University, receiving a bachelor of science degree in finance. He started his banking career in Mercer, Wis., then in Ironwood where he was the manager of D&N Bank for several years. Finding joy in his job, Gene began obtaining the licenses and certifications necessary to sell insurance and investments. He began his life as an insurance salesman when he accepted a position with Prudential in Ontonagon before moving on to Lutheran Brotherhood of Dickinson and Iron counties where he continued until his retirement in 1997.
Gene married Lucy Vinoski on Jan. 2, 1988, in Green Bay, Wis. They recently celebrated their 25th anniversary surrounded by their loving family. Lucy remained by his side through his courageous 10-year battle with prostate cancer. Together they have three children.
Gene was a member of United Lutheran Church in Crystal Falls, COMSEC ASA Division, a member of the NRA and a life member of the Tufts-Rondon Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2891.
Gene was an avid outdoorsman who thrived when he was outside. His greatest passions were hunting and fishing, which were hobbies he strove to instill in his children. Just being on his boat brought an infectious grin to his face and he happily spent many hours perusing Boat Finder looking for just one more boat. Throughout his life, but increasingly towards the end, his lake house was the place that brought Gene peace, especially when joined by family, friends and his beloved pets. Animals flocked to Gene's gentle soul, and his love for them was apparent when he greeted them with a smile and a pat. No animals loved him more than those that were part of his family.
Gene is survived by his loving wife Lucy of 25 years; their three beloved children, Jessica Korhonen (Patrick Moore) of Gwinn, James Korhonen of Marquette, and Jonathon Korhonen (Dylan Elizabeth Powell) of Marquette; five brothers, Wayne (Sophia) Korhonen of Bessemer, Robert Korhonen of Gile, Wis., William (Darlene) Korhonen of Bessemer, David (Kathy) of Montreal, Wis., Richard Korhonen of Ironwood; one sister, Linda Kritz of Washburn, Wis.; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Edward and Julia Vinoski of Ironwood; brothers-in-law, John (Theresa) Vinoski of Green Bay, Steve (Cindy) Vinoski of Chelmsford, Mass., Jim (Volita) Vinoski of Lawrenceburg, Ind., and Rich (Carla) Vinoski of Green Bay; sisters-in-law, Teresa (Leroy) Moats of Staunton, Va. and Michelle Vinoski of Superior, Wis.; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews who he loved dearly. He is also survived by three children from a previous marriage, Bradley Korhonen and his children Mason and Hailey of Ironwood; Douglas (Gail) Korhonen of Montreal, Wis.; and Timothy (Joe) Oddo of Las Vegas.
In addition to his parents, Gene was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Trina Korhonen; and a brother-in-law, David Kritz.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at United Lutheran Church in Crystal Falls. A memorial will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday with Rev Michael Laakko, Rev Arthur Weiss and Rev Carl Lund officiating. The Eastside Veterans council will conduct a Pass-and-Review with military honors immediately prior to the service.
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.nashfuneralhome.net.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Iron County Cancer Unit, Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp, or a charity of your choice.
The family has entrusted Nash Funeral Home of Crystal Falls with the arrangements.