Helen J. ‘Joyce’ Maki

Helen Maki

ISHPEMING, MI – Helen J. “Joyce” nee Lyyjoki Maki, age 91, longtime Ishpeming resident passed away on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at the Marquette Co. Medical Care Facility where she had been a resident for the past year and a half.

Joyce was born on a small family dairy farm in Brantwood, WI and at a very young age she knew she would become a teacher. She graduated from Prentice High School in 1944, attended Wisconsin State College in Superior, and graduated with a 3-year teaching degree. She taught 3rd – 6th grades in various northern Wisconsin communities for 7 years. Married Martin Maki of Republic in August of 1953, raised 2 sons, and when they were established in school, she began to attend Northern Michigan University and earned her B.S. degree in 1967. She was then hired to teach 3rd grade at Republic-Michigamme School District, which she did for 21 years, retiring in 1988. During her teaching years at Republic, she also took classes at NMU, and earned her Master of Arts degree in Education, graduating Magna Cum Laude.

Always the teacher, Joyce was passionate about children learning to read, something instilled in her at a young age by her father. She helped to spread the enthusiasm in all children in her life by reading to and with them.

She enjoyed time spent at camp on Lake Arfelin. Joyce loved music, dancing, reading, swimming, fishing, gardening, crossword puzzles, Finn Club, and many other Finnish Heritage events in Florida, the U.P. and her hometown of Brantwood. After retirement she spent 24 great winters in Lake Worth, FL. Her family was very important to her and she supported all their activities. Joyce believed always in a positive attitude, and SISU when tackling life’s challenges.

Survivors include a son Paul (Julie Bjorne) Maki of Ishpeming, granddaughters – Jamie Maki and Joanna Heliste, great grandson Aaron “A.J.” Maki, special daughter and son – Ginny and Tony Tippett, great nephew Rey (Karen) Lyyjoki of LaCajon, CA.

She was preceded in death by her parents Sakari and Ellen Lyyjoki, former husband Martin Maki, son James Maki, brothers – Oliver, Edwin and Leo Lyyjoki and grandson Andrew Tippett.

Per her request, a private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers or other expressions of sympathy, the family simply asks that you give someone you love a hug.

Joyce’s family wishes to thank the staff at the Marquette Co. Medical Care Facility for their kind and compassionate care.

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