Kitto Sr., Michael J.

Passed on Friday, August 22, 2014, at 70 years of age, after a long battle with pain due to several injuries. Mike was born in 1943, and raised in Ishpeming Michigan, leaving to volunteer to serve his country as a Green Beret in the Army in Vietnam in the early sixties. As part of his Special Forces training, Mike trained as a medic and studied several languages. Following his honorable discharge after two tours, Mike attended Northern Michigan University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Thereafter, Mike enjoyed a long career in Lansing and Saginaw in claims management, eventually rising to underwriting and risk management director of St. Luke’s hospital in Saginaw, MI, a job he enjoyed until he retired. Mike Kitto was 100% Finnish, and proud of it. He was born to Elsie Erkkila Kitto and Matt Kitto in 1943, and grew up with numerous aunts, uncles and first cousins as part of his upbringing in Ishpeming, Michigan. Mike was a voracious reader and student of many topics, especially history, politics and medicine, and he enjoyed conversing with others. Mike was an expert golfer, and golf was a fundamental part of his social and professional life until his disabilities. Mike is survived by his wife, Janet K. Smith of Traverse City, Michigan, his brother, Matt Kitto of Ishpeming, MI, his daughter, Joanna (Mike Ambroziak) Kitto, of Arvada, Colorado, his son, Michael J. Kitto, Jr., of Shelby Township, MI, his step-daughter, Lisa (Kyle) Salo of Suwanee, Georgia, and his step-daughter Robin (Scott) Hugen, of Rochester Hills, MI, as well as by numerous grandchildren who loved him: Gabrielle, Alexander and Dominic Kitto, Emma, Nicholas and Christopher Ambroziak, Cooper and Isabella Salo, and Greta and Murphy Hugen. A service will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church in Ishpeming at 4:00 p.m. on August 29, 2014, with family visitation prior to that time between 3:00-4:00 p.m. A reception will occur for family and friends after the service at the nearby Veterans of Foreign Wars. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 380, 173 U.S. 41 East, Negaunee, MI 49866.