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Aino A. Akel

September 18, 2012
The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE, Mich. - Aino Arlene (Palu) Akel, 91, of Lakeshore Park Place, died peacefully at home on Friday, September 14, 2012.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.

Aino was born on March 25, 1921, in the small Estonian village of Lutsniku, the eldest daughter of Hendrik and Ida Palu. Aino met Edgar Akel in the fall of 1939, and they were married on May 16, 1941. They, with their young daughter Viive, escaped from Estonia in 1944 before the Soviet occupation and lived in the American zone of Germany where Edgar worked for the U.S. Military Government Court and their second daughter, Marianne, was born. In June 1949, the family immigrated to the Marquette area, sponsored by the Charles Fransisco family of Marquette. Later, Edgar owned and operated the Pioneer Insurance Agency in Negaunee where Aino worked by his side for many years.

Article Photos

Aino A. Akel

They eventually created a garden-filled homestead near Negaunee, where they grew their own fruits and vegetables, skied, took saunas, and enjoyed music, dancing together in perfect step. Aino was known for her optimistic view of life, sense of humor, great singing voice, and loving and friendly personality. She was a fabulous natural cook and entertainer. Aino returned to her homeland for the first time in 1971, and she and Edgar made a number of subsequent trips to Estonia to visit family, especially after Estonia regained its independence in 1991.

In addition to trips to Estonia, she and Edgar enjoyed travels to other parts of Europe, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and the Fiji Islands.

She is survived and greatly missed by her husband of 71 years, Edgar Akel of Marquette; a sister, Asta Maessar of Parnu, Estonia and a brother, Heino Pallo of Tartu, Estonia; two daughters, Viive (Akel) married to Ken Morin of Marquette and Marianne (Akel) married to Alan Brokaw of Houghton; four grandchildren, Kellie Morin married to Paul Smith of Madison, Tiina (Morin) Harris of Negaunee, Marika (Brokaw) married to Matt Seigel of Houghton, and Tomas Brokaw of Chicago; five great-grandchildren, Ender and Endla Harris, Connor Smith, Annika and Indrek Seigel; as well as Mark Harris, father of Ender and Endla. Aino was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Nelli Palu (1984), and infant grandson Karl Brokaw (1971).

A private family memorial and celebration of Aino's life will be held at the family homestead in Negaunee.

The family thanks all the friends and family who supported them during this difficult time, is grateful for the help of UP Home Health and Hospice, and for the loving care provided by elder care aide, Linda Havican.

Condolences may be expressed online at



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