Darrell Darwin Rajala, age 82, of Gladstone, passed away Saturday, March 2, 2019 at the Trillium House in Marquette. He was born on July 4, 1936 in Negaunee, MI, the son of Sylvester and Laina (Pellinen) Rajala. Darrell attended school in Rock until 1950. His family then relocated to the Detroit area where he graduated from the University of Detroit High School in 1954. Darrell began his heavy construction career in Detroit, then moved to Algonac, MI, and later to Canada where he built 18 miles of expressway. Darrell married the former Mary Joan Kelly in 1975 and she preceded him in death in 2002. Together, the couple shared many wonderful years together. In 1980, Darrell relocated to Oklahoma, OK where he worked for various companies for over 40 years. He was proud to have been able to move up in his career with constructing streets, to highways, to expressways, and lastly an airport runway in Oklahoma City. As a heavy construction superintendent, Darrell built 4 strong teams that would get jobs done in an efficient manner. Later on, he went on to receive his private pilot’s license so he could fly across the country and back in his own plane when he had to work. In 1999, Darrell retired due to health reasons. In his retirement years, Darrell lived in Vista, CA and returned to the Upper Peninsula in 2014 where he settled in Gladstone. Darrell was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Rock. He always said he had two blessings in his life: 1.) Being born on the 4th of July and 2.) Being able to read, write, and speak Finnish. Darrell loved God, his country, and was an extraordinary hard worker who will be missed by many.
Darrell D. Rajala is survived by 3 daughters; 3 sons; many grandchildren; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Darrell was preceded in death by his parents, Sylvester and Laina Rajala; and wife, Mary Joan Rajala.
Graveside services will be held at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 30, 2019 at the Rock Cemetery with Pastor Adam Hamill officiating. Coffee and refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the services at the Rock Bible Chapel.