Laila I. Poutanen

Laila Poutanen

PALMER, MI – Laila Irene Poutanen, 89, longtime Palmer resident, passed away peacefully early Saturday morning, March 9, 2019 at the Eastwood Nursing Center with her loving family at her side.

Laila was born September 19, 1929 in Palmer to Harvey and Ellen (Karjula) Hietala, graduated from Negaunee High School, Class of 1946 and was a lifelong area resident. She worked at the HW Gossard Co., and shortly afterwards met her husband and soulmate, Henry ‘Hank’ Poutanen, and they were married on April 17, 1948. Together they co-owned and operated Hank’s Upholstery in Palmer for 30 years, retiring in 1993. She would often say, “it’s not Hank’s ’til I say it’s Hank’s.” The family made their home in Palmer where she was also busy being a Boy Scout Den Mother and cheering at her sons’ baseball and basketball games.

Mrs. Poutanen was a member of Concordia Lutheran Church, Palmer where she was a member of the ELCW, taught Sunday School and sang in the church choir. She was also a member of the Negaunee VFW Auxiliary. In her spare time, she enjoyed sewing, weaving, flower gardening, painting, fishing and camping trips, playing the organ and taking trips to California and Gulf Shores. She adored her family and loved spending time with them all at the family camp on Pike Lake, and watching numerous ball games and horseshoe tournaments. She loved her grandchildren with all her heart, having them for many overnights at Pike Lake and at home in Palmer. Having three sons and then a grandson, she was thrilled to then have three granddaughters so she could start buying dolls and dresses. When Hank resided at the Nursing Home, she rarely missed a daily visit. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother that’ll be greatly missed.

Surviving are her three sons: Jerome ‘Jerry’ Poutanen of Palmer, Roger (Ruth) Poutanen of Wausau, WI and Robert Poutanen of Sacramento, CA; four grandchildren: Jeffrey Poutanen of Elk Rapids, MI, Theresa (Michael) D’Ambrose of Chicago, Maryellen (Jason) Charbonneau of McFarland, WI and Rachael (Dan) Viitala of Prosper, TX; four great-grandchildren: Alexis Claire, Allison May and Margaret Grace Charbonneau and Emme Rose Poutanen; and a brother, Leslie Hietala of Marquette.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Henry ‘Hank’ Poutanen in 2007; and a brother, Edwin Hietala

Memorial services will be held at 2:00 pm on Monday, May 6th at Community Lutheran Church, Palmer with Rev. Douglas Norquist officiating. Interment will be in the Negaunee Cemetery. The family will greet relatives and friends from 12:00 noon until the time of services at 2:00 pm at the church on Monday, and also a luncheon immediately following services at the Richmond Township Fire Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Laila’s memory to Community Lutheran Church.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff at the Eastwood Nursing Center for the loving and compassionate care provided since 2016.

Laila’s memorial page may be viewed at, where memories and condolences may be shared.