NEGAUNEE TWP, MI. - Bertha J. Saari, age 93, former Champion resident, passed away Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at the Marquette General Hospital.
She had resided with her daughter Carol Mattice and her family at #1 Pine Run in Negaunee Twp. for the past 26 years.
Bertha was born November 8, 1920 in Gwinn, the daughter of the late Kustaa Gust and Sanna (Laukkonen) Annala. She grew up on the family farm in the Gwinn area. She married Charles A. Saari on Feb. 4, 1938 and moved to Champion where she and Charles raised their family of eight children. Bertha was a homemaker who enjoyed babysitting for her grandchildren and other area families. Bertha's grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren were a very special part of her life. Bertha was a member of the Evergreen Christian Church. She enjoyed the simple things in life, knitting various items for the family, playing Bingo and watching the game show network.
Survivors include 5 children Kenneth R. (Grace) Saari of Ishpeming, Janet J. (Sam) Watters of Ishpeming, Fred W. (Judy) Saari of Ishpeming, Carol A. (David) Mattice of Negaunee and James J. (Linda) Saari of Negaunee, a daughter-in-law Renee Saari of Michigamme, sister Ruth Suobank of Rogers City, AR, 17 grandchildren Kenneth and Scott Saari, Becki Nylander, Grace Lahtela, Rita Britton, Ronald and Kevin Saari, Terri Dauphinais, Dawn LaBreche, Christy Larson, James McCormick, Nicole Nora, Christopher Mattice, Danielle Jacobetti, Brian Mattice, Amy Czenkus and Wade Saari, 44 great grandchildren, 8 great great grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Charles August Saari in 1988, 2 sons Charles S. Saari in 1995 and Richard A Saari in 2004, a daughter Barbara J. McCormick in 2001, a grandson Joseph P. Saari in 1968, along with brother and sisters Saina J., John G., Sanna A, Anna S., Martha, Ellen W., Sanna J., Andrew W. and Elsie N.
Bertha's family will greet relatives and friends on Friday, February 14, 2014, from 5:00-8:00pm and on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, from 3:00pm-5:00pm at the Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home where funeral services will be held at 5:00pm on Saturday with the Rev. D. Michael Carriere officiating. Interment will take place in the spring at the Champion Cemetery. A luncheon will follow the services in the fellowship hall at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Ishpeming. Pallbearers will be Bertha's grandsons.
Memorials may be directed to the Evergreen Christian Church, 44 Snowfield Rd., Negaunee, MI 49866 in Bertha's memory.
Bertha's obituary may also be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.