Thank you for your response. It's been awhile for me, too, since last looking at my Makela family. I vaguely recall figuring out the dates don't match well, as you said.
I think my grandmother may have read about your grandfather's death (in the Finnish newspaper from MN/MI area, which she received while living in Washington) and thought the story was possibly about her brother with the same name as the deceased.
The death date of 1912 is entered in the Finnish Parish Records as "Unofficial" and I found John and Jacob in the WWI Draft Registration cards; living in Houghton, MI. Hope to eventually learn what became of their families.