Wayne Connors, 89, of Baldwin Ave., Negaunee, passed away peacefully at his home a day after celebration of his wife’s birthday, Tuesday evening, April 27, 2021 under the care of his loving family and UP Home Health & Hospice. His family was proud to provide the care he needed to be able to pass away at his homestead.
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Wayne was born April 1, 1932 in McFarland to Desmond and Dorothy (Larsh) Connors and graduated from Gwinn High School, Class of 1950. He left a full scholarship to Northern Michigan University to join the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He served with the 33rd Air Regiment, Okinawa, until his honorable discharge in 1955. Following his service to his country, he married the love of his life, Joann D. Harju on June 29, 1957, and together they enjoyed over 63 years of marriage. Wayne was employed as the general manager of Interstate Valweld, retiring with over 34 years of service with the company.
Mr. Connors was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Negaunee, and was a lifetime member of AMVETS. He was a proud member of the 100pint blood donation club with the American Red Cross. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing cards, especially cribbage, and loved being in the woods and going to hunting camp. Most of all, he was a loving and devoted patriarch to his family. He worked hard to build a family camp on Lake Sixteen in the Champion/Michigamme area, and was gratified to be able to give the camp to his children for the next generations to enjoy.
Surviving are his loving wife, Joann Connors; two sons, Dennis of Pensacola, FL and Troy (Caitlin) of Marquette; four daughters: Renee Liquia of South Lyon, MI, Connie (Randy) Champion of Negaunee, Paula Connors of Charlevoix, and Wendy (Rick) Champion of Whitehall, MI; 12 grandchildren: Stacy (Mark) McEachern, Mandi (William) Welbes, Jessica (Eric) Lapine, Joanna (Jordan) Zillner, Michael (Shelley) Liquia, Adam (Jessica) Liquia, Wayne Champion, Tiffany Connors, James Champion, Taylor Connors, Roger Champion and Travis Connors; 16 great grandchildren; two brothers, Jerry and Gary (Mary) Connors; five sisters: Carol Marjonen, Janice Boogren, Marilynn Kotel, Darlene (Norm) Meden and Jill (Dick) Leferink; special friend, Jeanie Manginen; godchildren: John Cass, Jr., Todd Cass, Lynn Marjonen and Terry Marjonen; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a granddaughter, Shannon Liquia; a sister-in-law, Sharon Connors; and brothers-in-law: Ed Marjonen, Bob Boogren and Martin Kotel, and Johnny Roberto.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, May 1st at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Negaunee, with Rev. Steven Solberg officiating. Burial will be in Northland Chapel Gardens. The family will greet relatives and friends from 9:30 AM until the time of services at 11:00 AM at the church on Saturday. Pallbearers are Randy, Ricky and Rodney Champion, John Cass, Jr., Tracy Schmeltz, Joe Boogren and Wayne Champion. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed in Wayne’s memory to the Fortune Lake Scholarship Fund.
For those unable to attend, funeral services will live streamed, and can be launched through www.immanuelnegaunee.org
Wayne’s memorial page may be viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com