Hietamaki truly was a special person
To the Journal editor:
June 21 has come and gone. For many it was the second calendar day of summer, for others it was a sad anniversary of the passing of a wife, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, very good friend, a healer to many, a local state and national expert on labor and its political process and an example to many of a life well lived.
Carolyn Hietamaki was that person and it seems like when a death occurs, the world should stop for just a moment in honor of a life lost, however time marches on. So daily reminders and conversations with family and friends keep that memory alive instead of that momentary stop in time.
Carolyn Hietamaki RM was an advocate for her patients, nurses and their families, women and the underserved of society. She was an educator as well as an activist, a healer as well as a champion, and to that end, MGH RN Staff Council (the local RN union that Carolyn chaired for 20 years) worked to honor her memory and her dedication to the healing art of nursing. RN Staff Council in coordination with Bay College, private individuals and nursing organizations from around the state of Michigan were able to fully fund The Carolyn Hietamaki Nursing Scholarship.
Carolyn was a 1989 alumna of the Bay de Noc/NMU/MGH ADN nursing program. This scholarship was established and funded for nurses by nurses in honor of our local nurse hero. I think Carolyn would be pleased with this action as she was a staunch advocate for nursing and its students — our future caregivers.
She will always be missed by her family and friends, but her name and legacy will live on through the scholarship supporting nursing students.
Her final wish for her family and friends upon learning of her passing was that you hug your family. In the last year, uncountable hugs have been shared, all in her memory.
Rest my friend, you deserve it.