James Jay Junttila, age 75, of Laurium, well-known local photo journalist and outdoor sportswriter, passed away on May 17, 2022 in Hancock.
Born September 27, 1946, in Laurium to the late Wilbert H. Junttila and Virginia S. (Peterson) Junttila, Jim attended Washington School in Calumet, and when the family moved, Central School in Wakefield, graduating from Wakefield High School, Class of 1964. He attended Gogebic Community College, Michigan Tech University and Wayne State University, graduating in 1968.
Jim enjoyed hockey, playing for the Wakefield “Red Wings”, The Gogebic Chiefs, and an intramural MTU team “The Flying Finns”.
He began his writing career in Wakefield writing a weekly column, “Sports by Jimmy”, for the Wakefield News, during his junior and senior years in High School.
Jim Spent a 30-year career as an award-winning copy writer for ad agencies in Detroit, Boston, Providence R.I., Tampa FL, Columbus OH, New Orleans, and Chicago. He was Editor and Publisher of Fishing Holes Magazine for 5 years in Seattle.
Jim was a member of Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), and the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association (MOWA).
Evolving full circle in his return to the Copper Country, Jim became a weekly outdoor columnist for the Daily Mining Gazette.
He was an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, partridge and deer hunter, and lover of Isle Royale. He was a member, photojournalist, and past president of the Calumet-Keweenaw Sportsmen’s Club. Jim's most precious memories revolved around traveling, exploring, beaching, swimming and fishing with his sons Kevin and Jason.
Jim is survived by his son Kevin (Doneva Snyder) Junttila of Calumet and grandsons Jacob, Carson and Aidan Junttila of FL, his son Jason Junttila and granddaughters Zoe and Raena Junttila of Belen, New Mexico. He is also survived by Mary Ellen Junttila of Belen, New Mexico, and Marion Hogan of Seattle, Washington.
Also surviving are his siblings; Mary Junttila of Seattle, Kristine (Roger) Riutta of Oskar Bay, Karen (James) Johnson of Big Traverse, Claudia (the late Daniel) Junttila of Calumet, and Sharon (the late John) Junttila of Calumet. 26 nieces and nephews, numerous cousins and an aunt, Angie Junttila.
Jim was baptized and confirmed in the Apostolic Lutheran Church of Calumet. A Celebration of Life will be held later in the summer in Calumet.
His many fictional characters from the column, "Woods, Water and Worse" : Sandy Bottom, Dolly Partanen, Vernal Equinox, Summer Solstice and others bid a fond farewell to Copper Country readers.
The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet is assisting the family with the arrangements.
Online condolences can be left for the family at ericksoncrowleypeterson.com