Gilbert W. Lukkonen

GWINN, MI. – Gilbert W. Lukkonen, Sr., 89 years young, of 109 Savage St., Gwinn, and former Negaunee resident, died at 1:50 a.m. Wednesday morning, October 16, 2013, at West Gate Living Center in Ironwood, Michigan where he was doing rehab.

Gilbert was born July 5, 1924 in Negaunee, the eldest child of Werner and Esther (Katajamaki) Lukkonen. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy Seabees CM3, during WWll. Following his service to his country he was employed by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company for his entire working career.

Mr. Lukkonen was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Negaunee, was a life member of the V.A. Romo Post #3165 V.F.W., Negaunee and was a charter member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Negaunee. On June 15, 1946 Gilbert married Phyllis Ward, which started their 61 year adventure. They loved to travel, especially to visit relatives on the East and West Coasts. He enjoyed fishing and being in the outdoors. He was a gentle man who gave us so many special memories that he will never be forgotten.

Surviving are his daughter, Nancy (Pierre) Soumis of Ironwood and his son, Gilbert (Karen) Lukkonen,Jr., of Highland, CA, 10 grandchildren: Tony Meli, Chad (Denise) Meli, Kelli Soumis, Kathryn (David) Erickson, Tamryn (Kory) King, Melissa (Jeremy) Hinkhouse, Malori (Daniel) Soria, Shari (Eric) Borchers, Raymond (Michelle) McMullen, Ryan McMullen, 32 great grandchildren: Tyler, Brett, and Justin Meli, Sydney and Grant Meli, Lathan Soumis, Nancy, Kaleb, and Chase Granados, Novalee and Laiden Erickson, Paige Edmondson, Presley, Gibson, and Grace King, Stephanie Lukkonen, Joseph, Jered, Riley, and Justin Hinkhouse, Aiden and Aubrie Soria, Dustin Lee McMullen, Alric Hough, Christopher, Taylor, and Sidney Borchers, Amanda McMullen, Malarie Jacobson, Raymond and Randy McMullen, Meghan McMullen, 4 great great grandchildren. Also surviving are his son-in-law Raymond McMullen, sisters-in-law, Marilyn Lukkonen and Wanda Just, many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Phyllis (Ward) Lukkonen in 2007, his beloved daughter, Sharon McMullen in 2011, 2 brothers, Leonard Lukkonen in 1999 and Richard Lukkonen in 2010.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Wednesday at the Koskey Funeral Home with Rev. Steven Solberg officiating. Interment will follow the service in the Negaunee Cemetery.

The family will greet relatives and friends from 12:00 noon until the time of service at 1:00 pm at the funeral home on Wednesday and at a reception at the Negaunee VFW following the service. Memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association in Gilbert’s memory.

Condolences may be expressed online at