Marlene (Rintamaki) Lassila Ylitalo

ISHPEMING, MI – The angels came to take our dear Mom and Gran, Marlene, home on Wednesday evening, March 8, 2017, while at the peaceful Hospice of the Valley – Sherman House in Phoenix, Arizona. The last days of her 78 years were spent surrounded by the great love of her family.

On October 31, 1938, in Ishpeming, MI, twins Marlene Sophia and Margaret Susan were born thirty minutes apart, to Eino & Aline (Honkala) Rintamaki. They joined their big brother Dan. Younger sister Kay arrived eleven years later. Marlene spent her happy childhood years at their home in Green Creek surrounded by her aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. She attended National Mine School, graduating with the class of 1956. After graduation, she worked as a dental assistant in Ishpeming. Later she moved to Santa Ana, CA with her widowed aunt and then to Phoenix, AZ, where she made many lifelong friends. She fell in love with Roy Lassila and on October 19, 1963 they were married in a small ceremony in Laurium, MI. They made their home there with daughters Karyn, Kelly and Kristen. When Roy passed away in June of 1974, Marlene and her girls moved back home to Green Creek. She married Eddy Ylitalo in Minneapolis, MN on December 1, 1977. Their short time together was ended by Eddy’s tragic death in March, 1978. Their son Ed was born several months later. In the next few decades, her life was richly blessed with the additions of her sons-in-law, Joel, Andy and Curt, daughter-in-law Janelle and her 32 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, who were the light of her life. She also enjoyed returning to work as a teacher/library aide for NICE Community Schools, retiring as their oldest employee in June of 2012. She loved birds, gardening, music, a good game of Scrabble, and time with friends and family. In her last few years, Marlene especially enjoyed winters in the Arizona sunshine. She also had her daily routine of word games and puzzles on her iPad and was delighted to keep in close contact with her family on GroupMe.

She was a member of the Laestadian Lutheran Church in Ishpeming, MI.

Marlene leaves behind: Children, Karyn (Joel) Hoikka of Cokato, MN, Kelly (Andy) Kesti of Cave Creek, AZ, Kristen (Curt) Johnson of Corcoran, MN and Ed (Janelle) Ylitalo of Vancouver, WA. Grandchildren, Lea (Adam), Darrin (Tracie), Lindsey, Charlie, Patrick, Sam (Carmen), Garrett, Vince, Olivia, Isabella, Derek, Austin, Abby, Quincy, Wil, Lewis, Jamison, Nate (Heidi), Jaclyn, Alyssa (Troy), Chase (Taryn), Tara (Nate), Mallory, Brendan, Madison, Emma, Ana, Cambrie, Liam, Ellie, Charlotte and James. Great-grandchildren, Scarlett, Weston, Lars, Josie, Aubrey, Emerson, Vera, Aurianna, Zander, Claire, Bryce, Brody, Rylan, Bree, William, Emy, Jade and Alia. Brother, Dan (Marilyn) Rintamaki and Sisters, Margaret (Jerry) Oja and Kay (Bob) Wikman, all of Ishpeming. Uncle Frank (Shirley Ann) Honkala, special Aunt Katherine Honkala, dear friend Elaine Frantti, and special cousins Barb Plough and Tom Prophet. In-laws in both the Lassila and Ylitalo families. Many cousins, nieces and nephews.

She joins her infant son Jay, Husbands Roy & Eddy, and her Mom and Dad in heaven.

A sunset memorial service was held in Cave Creek, AZ on March 10th. Marlene’s funeral service will be held on June 28th at the Laestadian Lutheran Church in Ishpeming, MI, with Peter Kuopus, pastor, officiating.

Interment will be next to her husband Roy at Lakeview Cemetery in Calumet, MI.

The heart aches for what it has loved and lost.

Marlene’s obituary may be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.

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