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1922 Elmer 2018

Elmer E Hanninen

March 28, 1922 — July 4, 2018

Elmer E. Hanninen passed away in Livermore, CA on July 4, 2018 due to complications from congestive heart failure and dementia.  He was 96 years old.  Elmer is survived by his dear daughter and son-in-law, Liisa Hanninen-Danner and Don Danner of Livermore; cherished granddaughters, Alexa Danner of Davis, CA and Kate Danner of Livermore; devoted brother and sister-in-law, Arne and Mary Ann Hanninen of Livonia, MI; niece Peggy Hanninen, great niece Emily Hanninen, and great nephew Jon Hanninen of FL; and numerous extended family members and friends.  He was predeceased by his loving wife, Kathryn.

Born March 28, 1922 in Nisula, a small farming community in northern Michigan, Elmer was the son of Finnish Immigrants, David and Mary Hanninen.  After graduation from Baraga High School, Elmer was drafted into World War II and was a proud member of the Third Infantry Division of the U.S. Army that landed at Anzio Beachhead. He served for two years in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre, in the Rome, Arno, Southern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns and was in Austria when the War ended.  He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.  While Elmer didn’t talk about his experiences in WWII until after the 50th Anniversary of the War, those who were in his company during his later years were certain to hear his story. Following the War, Elmer settled in the Detroit area and married his first wife, Evelyn (Keskinen) Hanninen. Elmer worked at Burroughs Corporation, where he met many lifelong friends. He and his much adored second wife, Kathryn, whom he met at Burroughs, enjoyed over 35 years together as diligent, hardworking people who enjoyed dancing, gardening, going out to breakfast, and spending time with family, friends, and their loyal canine companions.  After retirement, Elmer and Kathryn spent  25 years as “snow birds,” living in Lake Placid, Florida in the winters and in Michigan during the summers.  After Kathryn passed away in 2004, Elmer remained in the Detroit area until relocating to California in December 2015, to live with his daughter and her family.

Proud of his Upper Peninsula Finnish ancestry, over the years Elmer appreciated and enjoyed the customs of his heritage including a hot sauna, Sunday afternoons at the lake, and korppu dunked in coffee. Finnish was his first language.  Not one to sit for any length of time, Elmer was always busy doing jobs around the house and helping his neighbors.  He had a witty sense of humor.  Elmer was a member of VFW Post of Alston, Michigan; the American Legion Post of Baraga, MI; and the Finnish Center Association.

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, August 7th at 1:00 p.m. in the Nisula Cemetery with Pastor Elmer Liimataa officiating.  The Copper Country area veteran will conduct military rites.  Following the service there will be a luncheon at the VFW in Alston.  The Jacobson Funeral Home of L’Anse, MI is in charge of arrangements.

Donations may be made to The Society of the Third Infantry US Army Division, 510 W. York Street, Blue Hill NE 68930; or Mission United Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 29, Pelkie, MI 49948.

Friends may sign Elmer’s guest book or send condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elmer E Hanninen, please visit our flower store.


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