Cover photo for John Pulkkinen's Obituary
John Pulkkinen Profile Photo
1956 John 2023

John Pulkkinen

October 23, 1956 — September 30, 2023

Mt. Iron, MN


John “Boulky/John Boy” Pulkkinen, age 66, passed away peacefully on September 30, 2023, after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by family at the place that brought him the most comfort and peace, his home.

John was born in Chisholm, MN, on October 23, 1956, to Taisto and Frances (née Stornick) Pulkkinen. He attended Cherry High School with the Class of 1975. He continued his education at the University of Minnesota - Crookston, Mesabi Community College, and held an apprenticeship with US Steel, USW Local 1938, as a Locomotive Mechanic. He retired in 2016 after 36 years of service.

An active member of his community, John, was an original founder of BootStink Lodge in Zim, MN. He also spent countless hours coaching and volunteering with the Clinton Little League Baseball program; as much as he liked to watch football and hockey, he was “Mr. Baseball.” In later years, he and his wife, Michelle, were members of the Laurentian Divide Kampers where they met many people that became like family.

He was a country boy his whole life, enjoying fishing, trapping, hunting, camping, four wheeling, and canoeing down the St. Louis River. In his spare time, he restored a 1971 Mach 1 Mustang and was in the process of restoring a 1952 Chevrolet pickup. John loved spending time with his family playing games, doing puzzles, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, celebrating holidays, and attending his family’s annual Birthday Bash and Pulkkinen PowWow.

John met his future wife, Michelle Poupard, on a blind date in August 1981. They married February 20, 1988, in Minneapolis, MN, and recently celebrated 35 years together.

He is survived by his wife, Michelle. Sons: Ty (fiancé - Liz Bloch) and Jake (fiancé - Kirsten Brown). Sisters: Jeannie (Perry) Fiorini and Linda (Mike) McVettie. Nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws. His best friends, who were more like a brother and sister to him: John and Kim Driskell. Friends: Glen Arola, Frank and Jack Koski, Roger Betters, Rick Baldwin, Steve Ollila, the Loco crew and many more, who are too numerous to mention here.

John was preceded in death by his loving parents: Taisto and Frannie. Many aunts and uncles that were more like second parents to him.  His faithful companion, Beau. His favorite father-in-law, Big Dick Poupard.

The Pulkkinen family would like to extend their appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Brian Thompson and Kim, Aurora Emergency Room, Essentia Health (Oncology, Endocrinology, and Hospital Staff), Rochester Mayo, and the Fairview Range Hospice Team for the care and compassion shown to our family.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Clinton Community Hall on Monday, October 23, 2023. Visitation at 3:00, Services at 4:00, with lunch to follow.

To order memorial trees in memory of John Pulkkinen, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, October 23, 2023

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

Clinton Community Center

8907 Hwy 37, Iron, MN

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