John Kivela served as a member of the House of Representatives from 2013 until his death in 2017. He proudly represented and advocated passionately for the 109th House District (Alger, Luce and Schoolcraft counties and part of Marquette County). John was the mayor of Marquette from 2008 until 2012.
John was known for his skills and passion for bringing people together, across parties and peninsulas, to get good things done. He was a champion for the U.P. who cherished the outdoors, always had a smile, and was a family man, first and foremost.
John struggled with alcoholism and took his own life on May 9, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Sandy; his children, Shelby and Andrew.
John is also survived by countless friends and colleagues who miss him and strive to continue his legacy of hope and working together for change.
The loss of such a gentle, committed public servant has inspired action to help others struggling with addiction, especially in the Upper Peninsula.
While we can't bring John back, contributing to the John Kivela Legacy Fund is a way all of us can honor him and help make the world a little better right now.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. There is hope and there is help: 800-273-8255.