Jeanne Evelyn MakelaJeanne Makela passed away peacefully on Feb. 16, 2013 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. with her loving family at her side. This ended her courageous battle with COPD since 1999, a double lung transplant in July of 2011 and eventual rejection of her lungs.
Jeanne Makela passed away peacefully on Feb. 16, 2013 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. with her loving family at her side. This ended her courageous battle with COPD since 1999, a double lung transplant in July of 2011 and eventual rejection of her lungs.
She was born in Superior on Oct. 3, 1942 and was the eldest of the six children of William and Helen (Tyykila) Niemi of Maple. She graduated from Northwestern High School in Maple in 1961 at the side of her future husband.
Jeanne started her career with Delta Airlines in March, 1962 in Chicago, Ill. She married Jerry Makela on Oct. 26, 1963. Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1964, they moved to Minneapolis, Minn. to begin their married life. She worked as a customer service representative for Western Airlines. Her family transferred to Seattle, Wash. with Western Airlines which was later bought by Delta Airlines. She was transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah where she retired on disability in 1999.
Jeanne was full of life. She loved her family and friends. She enjoyed reading, shopping, cooking, hosting family and friends and growing flowers-especially her roses in Seattle. Her family and friends benefited from her kindness and generosity. Jeanne was a very active and hard working woman who learned how to work while growing up on a dairy farm. She leaves a loving legacy and kind spirit.
We will remember Jeanne as a feisty woman with a good sense of humor who knew how to have fun and enjoy life. Jeanne, Jerry, Errol, and Erik took many memorable trips to Hawaii and Lake Chelan, Wash. which was one of her favorite places. While in Gold Canyon, Ariz., she was a "snowbird" who spent summers in her hometown of Maple until she was too ill to travel. Those summer visits were a wonderful time for her to grow even closer to her mother, sisters and large extended family.
She was preceded in death by her father William Niemi, brother James Niemi and sister Karen Niemi.
She is survived by her husband Jerry Makela, Gold Canyon, Ariz.; sons Erik Makela of Gold Canyon, Ariz. and Errol (Julie) Makela of West Valley, Utah; grandchildren Evan and Jenna; mother Helen Niemi of Maple; sisters Kathie (Steve) Matushak of Solon Springs, Dorothy (Joe) Idziorek of Phoenix, Ariz. and Julie (Donald) Anderson of Maple and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
Jerry, Erik, and Errol were grateful to have been her caregivers and supporters. It gave them the opportunity to witness first hand her fierce perseverance, strength, courage, and personal convictions as she battled her illness and 12 major hospital stays without complaint. She was certainly one of the finest examples of the Finnish term, "Sisu".
A service of thanksgiving for her life was held on Feb. 25 at our Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Gold Canyon, Ariz. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lake Nebagamon on May 4 at 1 p.m.