Bill Saarinen was born on Jan. 20, 1925 in Watton, MI to William and Martha Saarinen. In 1943, he graduated from L’anse High School. He joined the US Air Force during the Korean War and trained mechanics on the B-36 engine. While stationed in Spokane, WA he met Nelda Steele and they married in June of 1954. The Saarinens moved back to Upper Michigan and worked the family dairy farm for many years. Bill was very active in the Farm Bureau, 4-H and local politics, serving as a county commissioner and on the school board. In 1971, Bill moved to Waupaca, WI to assume management of Pine Lake Lutheran Camp. In subsequent years, Bill worked for King Veterans Home and Johnson Oil Co. Bill was an active member of Kiwanis and also involved in the American Legion. He was a member of Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church since 1971. Bill’s favorite past-time in retirement was watching baseball on TV, sometimes three games per day.
Bill is survived by three daughters, Kim (Ron) VanHaitsma, of Reed City, MI; Kay (Dennis) Saarinen-Barr, of Wild Rose, WI; and Ann (Jim) Albrecht, of Wautoma, WI. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Lorelei, Jennifer, Brittany, Talia, Kaden, Veronica, and Dani; and five great-grandchildren: Sajeeva, Amiya, Gracie, Mari, and Syris. Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Nelda, his parents and his seven sisters: Julie (Verner) Eskel, Edla (Walfred) Franti, Elma Saarinen, Martha (Eino) Aalto, Elsie (Arnie) Rajala, Helen (Carl) Hill, and Ellen (Rudy) Tahtinen. Bill had a strong Christian faith that has continued to inspire his children throughout their lives. His example will live in their hearts forever. Though he will be missed, we are comforted to know that he is with his Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
The family would like to thank the staff of Rosemore Village and Care Wisconsin for their compassionate care and thoughtfulness.
A memorial service is planned for 11:00 a.m., Jan. 14, 2017 at Shepherd of the Lakes Church in Waupaca, with lunch to follow. Friends may visit at 10:00 a.m. until time of service at church. A second memorial service, military honors and burial will be scheduled in Covington, MI this summer. Holly Funeral Home of Wild Rose, WI is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences available at www.hollyfuneralhome.com