George W. Makela

Jan. 18, 1919 - May 28, 2008

George W. Makela of Pewaukee died Wednesday, May 28, 2008, at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital at age 89. George was born Jan. 18, 1919, the son of Matthias and Amanda Makela.

He was united in marriage to his beloved Helen (nee Lindquist) for more than 60 years until her passing in 2000. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. George was employed at American Motors Corp. for more than 40 years, where he began as a welder and rose through the ranks to superintendent until his retirement in 1976. George impressed all who knew him for miraculously and courageously surviving a series of life-threatening illnesses, and for his integrity, fairness and kindness. All those touched by Georges kindness have been blessed and will forever have his footprints in their hearts.

George will always be cherished by his daughter, Joan (James) Gleason of Waukesha; son, Bruce (the late Mary) Makela of New Berlin; grandchildren, Joni Hahn, James Gleason and Lory Kraft; and great-grandchildren, Dustin (fiancee Lauren) and Ashley Hahn. George is further survived by other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; brothers, Nels and Reino; and sisters, Ina Johnson, Tyyne Evert, Helen Simatic and Tyyra Riesman.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 1, at Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, 237 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha. The funeral service will be held at 7 p.m., with the Rev. Nancy Anderson officiating. Burial will be held at Prairie Home Cemetery, Waukesha.

Georges family would like to send a heartfelt thanks to the doctors and staff at St. Lukes Hospital, Elmbrook Memorial Hospital, Tracy and staff at Milwaukee Nephrologists and Mary and everyone at the Anemia Clinic for their excellent care of George.

Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Preplanning Services are serving the family. For further information, please call 542-6609, or for directions, an online obituary or to leave a condolence, please visit