John A. Jura, obituary

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 12:00pm

UNION — John Arthur ‘Art’ Jura, 88, formerly of Union, died Monday, March 18, 2019 at Mid-Coast Hospital in Brunswick.  

Born in Union, May 13, 1930, he was the son of Erland and Alli Kajander Jura. Educated locally, he was a graduate of Warren High School.

Enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1948, he served as a photographer with the Strategic Air Command. Art married his high school sweetheart, E. Joyce Butler at the Warren Baptist Church on June 17, 1950.  While on their honeymoon, the Korean War broke out and Art was immediately recalled to his assignment in Rapid City, South Dakota.

After obtaining an apartment, he sent for Joyce, and she bravely traveled alone 2,400 miles by train to join him for the remaining years of his service to his country.  During those two years,the couple occupied four different apartments, and their first child was born in an Air Force hospital.

Returning home after his discharge, the couple made their home on Pacific Street in Rockland, and later purchased a home on Cedar Street where they raised their family. Ultimately, they built a new home in Union where they resided together until Joyce’s death in 2010.

Since 1954, Art and his wife worked together in their various businesses, including Schoolphoto Inc., Jura Studio, Jura Photo Lab and Oyster River Range.  

Art has always been an active community member and proud of his Finnish heritage. He was instrumental in reestablishing the Pine Hill Shooting Club, and extremely active with the Finnish Congregational Church, Finnish Heritage House, and Finnish American Society. He served for many years as a Deacon of the Finnish Congregational Church, as well as the Littlefield Memorial Baptist Church in earlier years.

Traveling to Finland in 1992 and 2001, he completed many hours of research for his three books Fenni, Fenni-II and Norden. The three books are about the culture and history of Finnish Americans written between 2001 and 2005. Art felt it was his mission to honor his ancestors, and to make sure the roots of the Finnish culture remained in the area so people could research their history.  

Predeceased by his wife of 60 years E. Joyce Jura; and a grandson Phillip A. Jura; he is survived by his two sons, Mark Jura and his wife Debbie of Union, Erik Jura and his wife Michelle of Cushing; his daughter Peggy Smist and her husband Mark of Thomaston; eight grandchildren, Matthew Jura and his wife Melina, Heidi Hall and her husband Scott, John Smist and his wife Alyson, Megan Thill and her husband Craig, Jennifer Jura, Andrew Jura, Aaron Lavoie, Shane Lavoie and his wife Megan; fourteen great-grandchildren, Zackery Hall, Mya Hall, Kissandra Hall, Gilbert Thill, Caroline Smist, Damon Carlton, Arianna Byron, Makennah Jura, Jacob Frost, Emily Frost, Isabelle Kaler, Phillip N. Jura, Jace Lavoie and Quentin Lavoie; as well as two nephews, Rand Butler of Hampden and Drew Butler and his wife Susan of Waldoboro.                                

Family and friends are invited to visit Friday, March 29, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Burpee, Carpenter and Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, March 30, at 2 p.m., at the Finnish Congregational Church, 172 St. George Road, South Thomaston.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either, The Finnish Congregational Church or Finnish Heritage House, P.O. Box 293, South Thomaston, ME 04858, or Finnish American Society, P.O. Box 488, Warren, Maine 04861.

To share a memory or condolence with the Jura family, please visit their Book of Memories at