106 West Main Street
P.O. Box 146
Phone: 906-475-4631
Fax: 906-475-5561

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1923 - 2010
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Obituary for Donald M. Uitto

Donald M. Uitto
Saturday, August 14, 2010
11:00 AM until 12:00 PM
Immanuel Lutheran Church

Saturday, August 14, 2010
12:00 PM
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Negaunee, MI

Donald M. Uitto


Donald M. Uitto, 86, formerly of 957 Cedar St., Negaunee, passed away peacefully at 7:20 PM on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at the Eastwood Nursing Center where he had resided since February of 2006.

Don was born September 27, 1923 in Austin, MI to Matt and Lempi (Pelkki) Uitto, was raised in Negaunee and graduated from Negaunee High School, Class of 1941. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII, training and serving as a B24 pilot. After the war, he returned to Negaunee and resumed his education at Northern Michigan University, graduating in 1949. He married Hazel (Mager) Uitto in 1948.

He began his teaching career in Oscoda, MI. He taught industrial education from 1949-54. During this time, he earned his MA in Administration from the University of Michigan. He and Hazel returned to the U.P. where he became the superintendent of Berglund Community Schools until 1959 when he took a principal’s job at Reese Community Schools in Reese, MI. A year later, the family once again returned to the U.P. when Don was appointed superintendent of the Champion-Humboldt Community Schools, remaining in that position for 13 years until the organization of the NICE School District. Don was the first principal of the new Westwood High School and remained at that position until his retirement in 1985.

During his career, Don was present for most extracurricular activities at the school. He was interested in all aspects of student life. All who knew him will remember him as a hard worker, one who ran a ‘tight ship’, one who enjoyed working with teachers and staff, and someone who believed that working in education was a rewarding profession.

In his younger years, Don enjoyed deer hunting and fishing. He built his mother and father-in-law’s camp on Little Perch Lake and his own home in Negaunee. He was an active member in the Champion Lion’s Club, always commending them for their fine service to the community, especially youth projects. He read voraciously and accumulated many shelves of biographies and WWII history books, particularly those on aviation. He utilized his carpentry skills often, refinishing Hazel’s antique furniture.

Don is survived by his two daughters: Vicki Elliott of Negaunee and Peggy (Larry) Laitala of Ishpeming, his grandchildren: Becky (Kevin) Jacobson of Negaunee, Matthew Elliott of Negaunee, and Jill Laitala of Minneapolis, great-grandchildren: Ty and Gavin Jacobson of Negaunee. Also surviving are his brother, Stanley (Betty) Uitto of Ishpeming, a sister, Elvi Noldin of Green Bay, WI, sisters-in-law: Ruth Uitto of South Carolina and Beverly (John) Roberts of Marquette, brothers-in-law: Stanley (Betty) Mager and Robert (Nancy) Mager, both of Negaunee, and many nieces and nephews. Don was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Hazel, his son-in-law Glenn Elliott, and his brother Harvey.

A memorial service will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday at Immanuel Lutheran Church with Rev. Steven Solberg officiating. The family will greet relatives and friends from 11:00 AM until the time of services at 12:00 noon at the church on Saturday, and also at a reception in the church hall following the service. Interment will be in the Negaunee Cemetery.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald M. Uitto, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

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