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Carolyn Irene Hietamaki, RN

GWINN, MI – Carolyn Irene Hietamaki, RN, age 66, of Gwinn, passed away at her home on June 21, 2019.

She was born in Wakefield, Michigan, the daughter of George E. and Esther Pelkola of Trout Creek on December 19, 1952. She first became a Licensed Practical Nurse and then continued her education and became a Registered Nurse (RN). As a RN Carolyn became involved in the local RN staff council, eventually being its Chairperson for twenty plus years. At this time Carolyn became involved in the state and national organizations. She served numerous positions on the Michigan Nurses Association board of directors and doing the same on national RN nursing boards. This led to Carolyn being involved in local and regional labor councils. For both RN and labor, she has picketed local, state, and nationally. Carolyn has been inducted into the Michigan Nurses Association Hall of Fame and the UP Labor Hall of Fame.

She is survived by her husband Robert of Gwinn; brothers George (Sharon) Pelkola of Marquette and Ken (Melanie) Pelkola of Trout Creek, sister-in-law Marykay Chapman of Albuquerque, NM and brother-in-law Gerald Hietamaki of Trout Creek. Also surviving are the loves of her life, her nieces and nephews, Teresa (Darrin) Viitala of Marquette and their children Easton and Hunter; Chris (Linda) Pelkola of Champion and their children Britney, Heidy and Natalie; Dr. Paula Rechner MD of Sault Ste Marie and her children Andrew, US Navy overseas, Sydney and Ella; Kristi Pelkola of Munising; Robert (Rebecca) Pelkola of Plymouth, MN and their children Leah and Will; Melissa (Peter) Copenhaver of Marquette and their daughter Kaija; Jim (Season) Pelkola of Iron River and their children, Brodi, Cannon, Grady Pelkola and Ryker Lesnek. Cousins Diane, Bruce, Norman and many others. Personal friends Kris Michaelson, Becky Tarvainen, Barb Maszlewski, Kathy Carlson, Gayla St. Onge, and Ann Jousma-Miller. Personal and professional friends; John Armelagos RN, Beckie Baldwin RN, Marva (Boo) Wade RN, Jean Ross RN, Dr. David Merz MD, numerous other friends local, state, and national.

On June 21 former patients, nurses (and doctors), family, local regional and national labor, Marquette County Democratic Party, and the regional suffragette celebration movement lost a driving force. This listing order was the order of Carolyn’s life.

Honoring Carolyn’s request, cremation has taken place and no service or memorial will be held. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider donations to either the Women’s Center in Marquette, 1310 S. Front Street, Marquette, MI 49855 or UPAWS (Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter), P.O. Box 968, Marquette, MI 49855.

Her final wish is upon being notified of her passing, hug your family.

Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderswansonhansen.com

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