Duane Richard Rajala, age 83, of Gladstone, passed away peacefully Monday, August 5, 2019 at Lakeview Assisted Living in Gladstone.
Duane was born February 29, 1936 in Gladstone, the son of John Richard and Esther Sophia (Finstrom) Rajala. He was raised in Gladstone and graduated from the Gladstone High School. He served his country proudly in the United States Navy from 1954 to 1959. He served aboard the USS Columbus. While in the Navy he was united in marriage to Elvira Merchen on May 3, 1958. Duane was a State Trooper with the Michigan State Police for many years. He joined in 1960 and retired in 1988 as a Sargent from the Gladstone Post. He served in Manistee, Flint, Wakefield, White Pigeon and Gladstone. He was also a member of the Gladstone American Legion Post 71.
Duane is survived by his wife, Elvira of Gladstone; daughter, Theresa (Steve) Rajala-Halsey of Marquette; grandchildren, Elvira (Mark) Rajala-Wilk, Kristen Halsey, Chloe and Jaxsen Lupinski; great grandchildren, Jurek and Liilia Wilk and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his son, Douglas Arthur Rajala, parents, brother, John Dennis Rajala, sister, Betty Stemick, mother and father-in-law, Nellie and Les Merchen, sisters-in-law, Ann and Maxine and brothers-in-law, Mike and Larry.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, August 17 from 3:00 PM to 4:40 PM at the First Lutheran Church in Gladstone. A flag presentation by the Michigan State Police will be at 4:40 PM. Military Honors will be presented at 4:45 PM by the Gladstone American Legion Post 71. Funeral services will be held at 5:00 PM with Tom Otis, Pastor officiating. A luncheon will follow in the fellowship hall.