MARQUETTE, MI – Martha Sylvia Leppanen, age 94, passed away peacefully in her sleep early Friday morning, July 13, 2018 at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living.
Martha was born in Covington Michigan, on October 16, 1923 to Eva (Kovernkoski) Leppanen and Charles “Cullie” Leppanen who both emigrated from Finland. Martha had three sisters; Aili (Imarisio), Anne (Hair) and Ida (Gross), all of whom preceded Martha in passing. Her parents had several siblings and as a result Martha also has many cousins.
She is survived by her nephew, Ken Hair, his wife, Deanna, and their three daughters (her grandnieces) and four great grandnieces and grandnephews.
Martha grew up on a small 80-acre farm near Covington and attend Covington area schools. After completing high school, Martha attended nursing school near Chicago becoming a Registered Nurse. Before embarking on a lifelong career as a pediatric nurse at Marquette General Hospital (formerly St. Luke’s), she and a friend rode their bicycles from Marquette to Seattle. She continued to ride her bicycle throughout her life and at age 71 rode her bicycle to Ann Arbor to visit her nephew’s family (we think it was the “SISU” in her). Around 1957 she built a cedar timber home on the shore of Lake Superior. She loved the outdoors and worked many years on sections of the North Country Trail around Marquette County. Even into her 80’s she would go on extensive walks near her home talking to everyone she encountered. She also loved animals and had three dogs and four cats over the years. Martha always had a big vegetable garden that provided her with many hours of enjoyment and at times frustration.
Friends may call at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home on Wednesday, July 18, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Interment will be made Thursday morning at 10 a.m. in the Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to UPAWS (Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter), P.O. Box 968, Marquette, MI 49855 or the North Country Trail Association, 229 E. Main Street, Lowell, MI 49331.
Condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneral home.com.