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Obituary: Martha Koskela

As received from the Jacobson Funeral Home:

Martha Florence Koskela, age 105, of L’Anse, MI, died peacefully in her sleep at home on December 25, 2021.

Martha was born on November 27, 1916, to Karl and Brita Liisa (Jumisko) Hanson in Paynesville, MI, and graduated from Ewen High School in 1935. In 1942 she graduated from Henry Ford School of Nursing in Detroit, MI, and in 1951 earned a degree in Nursing Administration from Wayne State University. She was employed at Henry Ford Hospital for 11 years in teaching and supervisory positions.

In 1951 Martha returned to the family farm in Paynesville to care for her mother. In 1954 she accepted the Director of Nursing position at Baraga County Memorial Hospital in L’Anse. Nine months later she was named Hospital Administrator, a position she held until 1967.

Martha was preceded in death by: brothers Ernest, Leonard, Hans, Norman, Fred, Harold, Russell, Arnold, Roy, and Baby Reuben; and sisters Mary Hanson, Signe Larson, Esther Davis, Lillian Hanson, Selma Murto, Ruth Hanson, and babies Ellen, Elma, and Erma.

In 1963 Martha married Houghton businessman Arne S. Koskela, who died in 1970. Before and during her marriage, and after her beloved husband’s death, Martha lived with and cared for many of her brothers and sisters in her homes in Houghton and L’Anse right up until she was 97 years old. In turn, her niece, Linda Murto, assisted Martha, visiting at L’Anse for several days every week for many years before moving there with her husband in 2016 to care for Martha in the home they then shared.

Throughout Martha’s long life she remained young at heart and was beloved by all who met her for her sunny disposition, good judgment, kindness, and hospitality. For her part, Martha loved people of all ages, animals and nature, long walks (until she became very old), and truly, life itself. She exercised her keen mind frequently, even playing scrabble until almost the day she died. A member of the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church, she was empowered by her faith to be the best person she could possibly be and was as successful in the little, unseen, things as she was in the outward expression of her personality.

Martha is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

A funeral service and burial in L’Anse Evergreen Cemetery will be held in the spring. Jacobson Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Friends may sign Martha’s guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com

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