Joseph Raymond Lori

NORWAY – Lifelong Norway resident and longtime business owner, Joseph Raymond Lori died Wednesday, Sept. 11, at his home. He was 89.

Lori was born in Norway to Joseph and Mary (Zadra) Lori on Christmas Day 1923. He grew up helping run his father’s grocery store that catered to Italian residents in what was then called Norway’s 3rd Ward. Later he and his wife built a home a few blocks away at the end of Elm Street where they raised their family. The son of Italian immigrants, he embraced his heritage and loved to share stories about his parents and extended family during their early years in America.

He graduated from Norway High School in 1942 and soon after entered the Army. During World War II, Lori served as an M.P. in occupied Japan. He left the service with rank of sergeant and returned to Norway.

He married Geraldine LaHaie of Quinnesec on Oct. 13, 1951. She preceded him in death in 2007.

After the war, Lori started a business to sell bulk feed to area farmers. With the help of a loan from the Niagara Bank, the operation grew into Lori’s Feed Mill (now Ray’s Feed Mill) on 9th Ave. He sold feed to farmers in several surrounding counties and eventually sold the business in the late 1970s.

In “retirement” Lori bought and sold real estate, developed the subdivision on Circle Drive in Norway, farmed and logged trees, operated a sand pit, and remained a generous supporter of Norway High School athletics. He also served as a member of the city’s board of adjustment and for many years on the board of the Norway Community Credit Union.

In and around Norway, Joseph was a well-known and respected fixture of the community. Gregarious and engaging, he enjoyed the company of others anywhere he went during business pursuits and family visits.

In summers he maintained a lush lawn and bountiful garden, and entertained grandchildren with tractor rides and tasty vegetables. He remained sharp and active up until his passing.

Lori was predeceased by his three sisters, Norma Agostini, Isabel Rampanelli and Genevieve Paluch, and his wife, Geraldine.

He is survived by his three children, Jody Lori (Todd Ray) of Ann Arbor, Julie Lori (Bruce Vielmetti) of Mequon, Wis., and Jim Lori (Connie) of Negaunee; eight grandchildren, Christopher and Ryan Recla, Dana, Max and Alex Vielmetti, Heidi (Chad) Goodman, Eric and Jay Lori; and four great-grandchildren, Riley, Abigale, Rider and Isabella Recla.

Visitation will be on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home in Iron Mountain. A memorial service will follow at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home. Pastor Lloyd Nelson will officiate.

Burial will be at Norway Township Cemetery. The Uren-Cooper-Johnson American Legion Post 50 will conduct military graveside honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Norway High School Booster Club.

Condolences to the family of Joseph Lori may be expressed online at

The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain with the arrangements.