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Michael Matthew Hakala

Michael Matthew Hakala

Michael Matthew Hakala, 66, of Cloquet and Brimson, Minn., died suddenly Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Brimson. He was born July 8, 1947, in Biwabik, Minn., to Matt and Dorothy (Tuomala) Hakala. Mike was a 1965 graduate of Aurora-Hoyt Lakes High School and later graduated from Bemidji State University with at teaching degree in industrial arts.

On Aug. 7, 1971, he married Joan Logan in Aurora, Minn. Mike taught industrial arts in Alaska for five years prior to becoming a commercial fisherman. They lived in Naknek and Soldotna, Alaska, while he worked as a salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay for nearly 40 years.

Mike returned to northern Minnesota where he worked as a carpenter and millwright. Mike especially enjoyed time spent outdoors in Brimson working with wood in all aspects: planting trees, cutting wood and building with it. He valued work ethic, independence and the connections to his heritage. For friends and family he always kept the sauna hot.

Mike was a member of the Millwrights Local 1348 in Virginia, a life member of the National Rifle Association and the Alaska Independent Fishermans Association.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Matt and Dorothy, and a nephew, Joseph Hakala.

Mike is survived by his wife, Joan; children, Branden (Shannon) Hakala of Cleveland, Ohio, and Kirsti Hakala of Park City, Utah; siblings, Anthony "Antti" (Yolande) Hakala and Mary Ann (Barney) Kokal; and several nieces and nephews.

A gathering of family and friends will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Colvin Township Hall.

Arrangements by Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home of Gilbert/Aurora, Minn.