Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 9, 2012

Gary A. Arvo


SUTTONS BAY — Gary Arnold Arvo, 78, of Suttons Bay, passed away on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 at Tendercare of Leelanau.

Gary was born on Oct. 1, 1934 in Houghton, Mich. to Arnold and Marie (Rautio) Arvo. On June 9, 1956 at St. Henry Lutheran Church in Nisula, Mich. he married Mary Ann Pirhonen who survives.

With bachelor's and master's degrees from Northern Michigan University Gary taught U.S. History and coached basketball and volleyball for 38 years at Adams Township Schools, Janesville, Wis. Public Schools and L'Anse Creuse Public Schools.

Gary combined his passion for photography and the Civil War, photographing almost all Civil War battlefields, using slides to illustrate sites in his U.S. History classes.

His enthusiasm for travel had him touring Europe with his grandchildren, different families at different times in different countries. Trips abroad with Mary Ann also included Japan and Egypt.

Summertime in Suttons Bay meant flower and veggie gardens and hours in the gardens of his home church, Bethlehem Lutheran.

Retirement in 1994 included membership in the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel. Gary served as president of the Leelanau Chapter for 10 years.

In addition to his wife of 56 years, Gary is survived by his children, Jennifer (Mark) Walsh, Roger (Kate) Arvo, and Julie (Robert) Arvo MacKenzie; six grandchildren, Sarah (Brad) Olsen, Erik (Beth) Arvo, Jill Walsh, Lauren MacKenzie, Erica MacKenzie, and Alex MacKenzie; sisters, Christine Koskey and Helen Ciucci; nieces and nephews, Joe (Laura) Ciucci, Mike (Lynn) Ciucci, Jodi Lishinski, Kim Reed, Lori (Rob) Witting; grandnieces and grandnephews and a great-grandnephew.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 with visitation one hour prior to the service at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Traverse City. The Rev. Paul Busekist will officiate.

Burial will be held at a later date in the Lutheran Cemetery in Suttons Bay.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Michigan Parkinson Foundation, 30400 Telegraph Road, Suite 150, Bingham Farms, MI 48025; Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1050 Peninsula Drive, Traverse City, MI 49686-2799; and/or to Hospice of Michigan, 900 E. Front St., Traverse City, MI 49686.

Please share thoughts and memories with Gary's family on their online guestbook at

Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay.