Irene J. (Gronroos) Gunderson


Irene Jennie Gronroos was born on May 29, 1922, in Bennett, Wisconsin to Eli and Sanni Gronroos. On April 25, 2022, Irene passed away at UW-Madison Hospital, Wisconsin

Irene moved from her Brule, Wisconsin, farm after her husband Waino J. Tikkanen whom she married in 1943 passed away in 1974. Thereafter, she lived a few years in Superior, Wisconsin, moving to Beloit, Wisconsin, in 1980. In 1988 she married Ernest Gunderson of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. After Ernest’s passing, she again returned to Beloit, Wisconsin where she lived until her death.

She was predeceased by husbands Waino Tikkanen in 1974, Ernest Gunderson in 2008, her parents and all of her 8 siblings. Survivors include her children: Alice Lamont (Sun Prairie, husband Philip), Norman Tikkanen (Guntersville, Alabama); Brenda K. Stone, (Janesville, Wisconsin); and Donald J. Tikkanen (Beloit, Wisconsin). She proudly but quietly acknowledged her grandchildren Robert Holm, Washington, D.C.; Jeff Holm, Madison, Wisconsin; Graydon Stone, Spooner, Wisconsin; Melissa Brown, Superior, Wisconsin; Bradley Stone, Duluth, Minnesota; Ashley Baas, currently Guadalajara, Mexico; and Heather Hasseler, Janesville, Wisconsin. Ten great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren were looking forward to celebrating Grandma Irene’s 100th birthday.

Irene lived her life as a hard-working wife and mother, a loyal friend, a great cook, reader and lifelong learner. When Waino, her first husband became ill, she promptly obtained her high school diploma in the late 1960s and soon thereafter earned her Wisconsin Licensed Practical Nursing license. Her nursing experiences as a geriatric and in-home-care worker extended from Middle River Sanitorium, Hawthorne, Wisconsin, to Beloit, Milton, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to Finnish nursing facilities in Florida. She maintained her ability to speak and read the Finnish language traveling to Finland often in her lifetime. When she wasn’t working, she enjoyed traveling, needlework, gardening, and canning.

Preparations for her 100th birthday party were being made by her family. Rather, a celebration of life gathering will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at the Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home, 1209 E. 5th Street in Superior. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM followed by a brief Memorial Service at 11:00 AM. Burial will be in the Oulu Lutheran Cemetery.

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