Rachel S. Hetico Hirvonen
NEGAUNEE, MI – Rachel Selma Hetico Hirvonen died peacefully, after a brief illness, on December 15, 2017 at the Glenbrook Hospital, Glenview, IL.
Rachel was born in Negaunee, MI, April 21, 1929, the youngest child and only daughter of Isaac and Selma Pentinmaki who were First generation Finnish immigrants. Rachel pursued a nursing education in Chicago, IL where she met and married Rev. Robert Hetico. Their life together spanned more than four decades with five children; John (1950-2015) Tim (Waleka; Springfield, OH) Steve (Beth; League City, TX) Bob (Susan; Grand Rapids, MI) and Hope (Highland Park, IL).
Rachel finished her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing while raising the children and sharing time as a very involved pastor’s wife, organist, pianist, Women’s Bible study leader, Sunday School teacher/superi- ntendent and church council member. The churches they served in Waukegan, IL; Springfield, OH; Detroit, MI; and Glenview, IL became like second families, making life-long friendships and wonderful memories. Once the kids were out of the house, she pursued her health care passion and earned her Master’s Degree in Nurse Management.
After the death of her husband, Rachel lived and worked in Lantana, FL and served on the Board of Trustees for Finlandia University (Suomi College). It was there that Rachel was blessed to find love for a second time. On July 24, 2004, she was married to Ray M. Hirvonen (Marquette, MI and Stuart, FL) and added to her family; Linda (Michael Allkins; Marquette, MI and Stuart, FL) Matt (Kathy Bull; Marquette, MI) and Mark (Kathy Blake; Marquette, MI). Rachel spent her remaining days living with Ray on Lake Superior in Marquette, MI and in Stuart, FL. Later they moved to the Teal Lake Senior Living Community in Negaunee, MI.
Rachel will be remembered by her children as an awesome Mom, giving us love, or a kick-in-the-pants when needed; a consummate professional in her nursing and nurse management careers; and a true and loving partner in her role as a Pastor’s wife. Family and friends will remember her fruit cake, the Sunday church hats, rhubarb pie, pasties and Nisu, to name but a few.
In addition to her husband and children, Rachel is survived by her brother, William Pentin (Boynton Beach, FL); grandchildren: Wendy Swank (Steve; Springfield, OH), Janet Schroeder (Houston, TX), Steven Schroeder (Suleika Spikes; Webster, TX), Emma Hetico (Boston, MA), Katrina Hetico (Minneapolis, MN), Mackenzie Marcinko (Newark, Delaware), Kyle Allkins (Alisa; Madison Heights, MI), Erik Allkins (Rachel Lahti, Edwards, CO), Corey Blake (Marquette, MI), Parker Hirvonen (Marquette, MI); and great-grandchildren: Katie, Drew, Casey and Isaac Swank, Matthew Schroeder, and Elsa and Oliver Allkins.
Rachel was preceded in death by her parents, Isaac and Selma; Husband, Robert; Son, John; and brothers, Urho, Walfred and Oliver Pentinmaki.
Per Rachel’s wishes she was cremated. A memorial service will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church, 305 W Magnetic St, Marquette on Friday, December 29, 2017 at 11 a.m. The family will greet friends and relatives starting at 9 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Finlandia University200 Michigan St. Hancock, MI 49930.