Laurice L. Ruonavaara (1920-2007)

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Laurice (Laurie) L. Ruonavaara
Laurice Ruonavaara.jpg
Born: 24 Nov 1920 Laurium, Michigan
Died: 30 Sep 2007 Haslett, Michigan
Father: Nils Altric Ruonavaara
Mother: Ida Leaura M. Norum
Siblings: Altric Ruonavaara
Rosalie M. Ruonavaara
Ida Ruonavaara
Herman Ruonavaara
Laurice L. Ruonavaara
Nils Gordon Ruonavaara
Kenneth Ruonavaara
Barbara Ruonavaara
Thelma Ruonavaara
Spouse: Lucile Sawaya
Married: 22 Aug 1948
Children: Brian Ruonavaara
Linda Ruonavaara
Christine Ruonavaara
Nancy Ruonavaara
Judith Ruonavaara


Harbor Light, November 7, 2007

Laurice Ruonavaara

Laurice (Laurie) L. Ruonavaara, 87, formerly of Harbor Springs, died peacefully at his home in Haslett, Michigan on Sunday, September 30th, 2007, following a short illness. He is survived by his wife Lucile (Sawaya) Ruonavaara, children Brian (Diane), Linda Ruonavaara (Thomas Hoermann), Christine Roby (Mark), Nancy Benjamin (Phil) and Judith Pennell (Larry), and grandchildren Erik and Michelle Roby and Ryan and Joshua Pennell.

He is also survived by brother Gordon (Lois) and sisters Barbara Davison (John), Thelma Bauer (Bob Watkins), sister-in-law Millie (Herman) Ruonavaara and by many nieces and nephews.

He was born on November 24, 1919 in Laurium, Michigan, the son of Nils and Ida (Norum) Ruonavaara. Laurie was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Kenneth, Altric and Herman, and sisters Rosalie and Ida.

Laurie was a 1938 graduate of Lansing Eastern High School. Following high school, Laurie worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps and then served in the US Army during WWII. He landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day +6, fought in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe.

After the war he met and married Lucile. They were wed on August 22, 1948 and shared 59 wonderful and happy years. He received his BA and MA from Michigan State University and was a foreign language teacher, starting his career at Harbor Springs High School in 1951. He retired from Saginaw Township Schools in 1980.

During retirement, he and Lucile returned to Harbor Springs where they built their dream chalet. An active and dynamic man, Laurie enjoyed swimming, walking, biking, fishing, gardening and golf. Laurie and Lucile worked on Appalachian Service Projects and in 1987, as construction Brigade/Peace workers in revolutionary Nicaragua. Recently, they enjoyed their summers in Haslett, and winters in Weslaco, Texas.

A service to celebrate his life will take place on Saturday, November 10 at 11am at Grace Lutheran Church in Lansing.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Heartland Hospice, 865 S. Cedar Street, Mason, MI or to Grace Lutheran Church.