Cover photo for James Charles Lepola's Obituary
James Charles Lepola Profile Photo
1935 James 2022

James Charles Lepola

April 22, 1935 — September 18, 2022

James Charles Lepola, age 87 of Watton, MI passed away peacefully at his home with family by his side on Sunday, September 18, 2022.

He was born April 22, 1935 in L'Anse, MI son of Charles William and Elma Dagmar (Salli) Lepola. Jim grew up in Wakefield, MI and graduated in 1953 from Wakefield High School. He moved to Watton and worked at the Watton Creamery prior to working for the Duluth South Shore Railroad with merged with Soo Line Railroad which later became Wisconsin Central Railroad where he retired from as a foreman on the bridge crew.

Jim married Helen Viola Jackson on December 18, 1954. He was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church and served on the church council, Tri-Town Lions Club, Covington Historical Museum, and was active in the Covington Township activities. Jim was proud of his Finnish heritage, attending Finn Fests and Suomi Kuutsu dances, trips to Finland, traveled to Branson, Missouri and music events. He was a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Tigers. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting in his younger years, then watching deer, feeding birds and other wildlife outside of his patio door.

Jim (Papa) was a loving, generous family man and will be greatly missed. He is survived by his daughter Lynn Lepola of Watton; son-in-law John Saarela of Champion, MI; grandson James Patrick LeClaire of L'Anse; great grandchildren, Austin Seppanen of L'Anse, Abbi (Ethan) Dowd of Baraga, Zachery Dowd of Pelkie, Skylar (Brett) Mattson of L'anse, Tyler LeClaire of Baraga, Payton, Khloe, Anthony LeClaire of Baraga, Hunter Picard of Baraga; great great grandchildren, Noah Seppanen and Haidyn Mattson both of L'Anse; sisters, Nancy Perry of Covington, Gloria Takala of Watton, Alice (Keith) Basto of Lake Linden; brother-in-law Wilbert Teikari of Munising; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Preceding him in death are his parents Charles and Elma; wife of 60 years Helen Lepola; son James Charles Jr.; daughter Julie Saarela; granddaughter Keri Mae LeClaire; brother Melvin Lepola; infant brother Gerald Lepola; sisters, LaVerne Manz, Loretta Knapp, Luella Teikari; sister-in-laws, Jeanette Lepola, Ruth Getzloff. Maria Jackson; brother-in-laws, Ken Manz, Earl Teikari, Tom Cavanaugh, John Knapp, William Takala, Arvo Jackson, Glenn Getzloff, John Jackson; nephews, Wayne Manz, David Perry, Roger Cavanaugh, Daryll Jackson; nieces, Pam Kugler ,Susan Lepola, Christy Cavanaugh, and Kathleen Getzloff .

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, October 1st at 11:00 a.m. at the Covington Cemetery with Pastor Richard Little officiating. A luncheon will follow at the Covington multipurpose building. Jacobson Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends may sign Jim's guest book or send condolences at
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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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