Jerome (Jay) A. Saarinen of Dollar Bay, Michigan passed away January 8, 2021 in the care of his staff family at the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette, Michigan where he had lived since November 2019.
Jay was born May 19, 1941, son of Oliver and Hilda (Maki) Saarinen, in Hancock, Michigan.
He married Gertrude L. Hynninen on January 21, 1961. She preceded him in death on June 24, 2003.
Jay attended Hancock Schools and, after graduation, joined the U.S. Navy and was discharged September 14, 1961 after two years of service. After several jobs, he spent the majority of his years working in the Power Plant at the Newberry Regional Mental Health Center in Newberry, Michigan and retired after 27 years of service on October 1, 1991. Jay and Gert raised their two children, Curt and Debby, in Newberry. There were many trips to the Copper Country to visit family and camping trips with family and friends. He enjoyed cross-country skiing, going for walks and playing the accordion. He always had a project. After he retired, he and Gert moved to Dollar Bay where they had been developing a lot on Portage Lake. They also began the snowbird lifestyle, living in Dollar Bay in the summers and Fort Myers, Florida in the winter.
After Gert’s passing he met another widow in Fort Myers and began a new loving relationship, continuing the snowbird lifestyle with Arlys Eastvold until his illness necessitated extra care in the last few years.
Jay was preceded in death by his parents; wife; son, Curtis J. Saarinen; brother, Harold Saarinen, and Sister Corrine Fountaine.
He is survived by his daughter Debby (Dave) Tapani of Palmer, Michigan, daughter-in-law Laura Saarinen of Wyoming, Michigan, Grandchildren; Devin Tapani of Marquette, Michigan, Heather Saarinen of Muskegon, Michigan, Bridget Saarinen of Wyoming, Michigan and Katie Saarinen of Wyoming, Michigan, great grandsons; Dawson and Owen Walsh, brothers; Raymond Saarinen of South Range, Michigan and Robert Saarinen of Hancock, Michigan, sister-in-laws ; Elsie Donahue and Hulda Kreus and his Special Loving friend , Arlys Eastvold of Fort Myers, Florida/Northfield, MN. He is also survived by many other relatives.
There will be a celebration of life in the summer for Jay and his son Curt with details made available at a later date.
The Pearce Funeral Home in Lake Linden is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left at pearcefuneralhome.com
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