Howard Donald Tulla

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Howard Donald Tulla, age 78, of 346 County Road 550, Marquette, entered eternal life Friday morning, May 3, 2013, in the loving, comforting care of his son and the caregivers of UP Home Health and Hospice.

Born July 3, 1934, in Munising, a son of Vilho and Lillian (Mahlanen) Tulla, Howard was raised in Rumely with his grandparents. In 1943, he moved with his mother and step-father, Arvo Mattson, to Marquette where he graduated from Graveraet High School in 1953. Howard enlisted in the National Guard in 1954, serving until being drafted into the US Army in 1957. Following his honorable discharge in 1958, he returned to Marquette and worked for Pellow Roofing until 1960 when an accident left him disabled and in recovery for over a year. In the summer of 1962, he met Margaret J. “Bunny” Webb and on August 28, 1965, the couple married in Sion Lutheran Church on Bluff Street in Marquette. They established their home, raised a son, Matthew, and remained lifelong residents. Howard enrolled at Northern Michigan University, receiving a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education in 1967. His teaching assignments were with the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at the Powell Township School in Big Bay from 1967 until 1976. His working career continued with a stint at UP Office Supply in delivery/supply, and finally with 19 years of service as a custodian at Northern Michigan University, retiring in 1996. Howard and Bunny loved to dance, taking part in many dances and traveling to places such as Covington, Trenary, Rock, Michigamme, and also participating in the Finland Calling dances as well. Howard enjoyed the outdoors, going to camp, hunting, fishing, and gardening. He was extremely proud of his Finnish Heritage and was also interested in anything to do with Finnish art and culture. During his lifetime, he made three trips to Finland, one while in service and the others in 1990 and 2004. Howard was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, the League of Finnish-American Societies, the Over the Hill Gang, and Richard Jopling Post 44 of the American Legion.

Survivors include his son, Matthew Allan Tulla of Marquette; a half sister, Dorothy (Steve) Nelson of Gladstone; half brother, Marvin (Diane) Tulla of Dixon, MO; brother-in-law, Hank DePetro of Negaunee; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. In addition to his parents and step-father; Howard was preceded in death by his wife, Bunny in 2008; a sister, Nancy DePetro; and half sister, Maida and husband, Ken Saul.

Friends may call at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on Thursday, May 9, from 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 pm. Funeral services will be held at 5:00 p.m. with Rev. William Payne and Rev. Rudolph Kemppinen officiating. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1318 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855.

The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family. Condolences may be expressed online at