March 23, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 69

Hilda Helen Polso

HURLEY, Wis. — Hilda Helen Polso, 97, of Kimball, died peacefully Thursday, March 21, 2013, in Hurley, surrounded by her loving family.

The former Hilda Lake was born Sept. 15, 1915, in Ironwood, Mich., daughter of the late Edward and Susanna (Rajamaki) Lake, attended Section 33 Grade School in Ironwood Township, and received her high school diploma later. She attended college classes majoring in bookkeeping and accounting. She also had three years of extra training where she learned of nuclear emergencies, office machines and pattern making. In 1971 she received a certificate of graduation from Palmers Writers School for fiction writing. In 1984, she attended classes and was awarded a diploma for business computing.

Hilda was Kimball town treasurer for many years and was employed at the North Hurley Credit Union for 25 years, retiring in 1987. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hurley and its Council of Catholic Women, Kimball Homemakers and the National Finnish American Chorus. She worked in the gift shop at Little Finland and was a volunteer at the Hurley Senior Center. She retired after over 30 years of volunteer service from the Senior Volunteer program, Senior Corps and the American Heart Association. She also made baby hats and nightgowns, premie blankets and quilts for newborns and AIDS babies, and gowns and bandages for the leper colony, and was the first one to do hospice training in the area.

Hilda was married to Rudolph Kovales in August 1933. They later divorced.

She then was married “Andy” Polso, her childhood sweetheart, on Oct. 10, 1954, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ironwood by the late Rev. Arnold Stadius. Andy preceded her in death on May 29, 1988. Hilda was written up in the area for caring for Andy at home prior to his death.

Surviving are a son, Ryan (Joanne) Kovales, Ironwood; two daughters, Virginia (William) Heikkila, Globe, Ariz., and Gail Kniska, Kimball; grandchildren, Kathy Cotton and Steve (Julie) Kovales, both of Coldwater, Mich., Renee Kovales, North Carolina, Luke Kovales, Washburn, Alan (Jodie) Kovales, Montreal, and Paul Semo (Dana Kangas), Rhinelander; great-grandchildren, Mike and Matt Cotton and Christopher and Autumn Kovales, all of Coldwater, Ben and Emma Froemel, Hayward, Alexius Semo, Superior, and Trinity Anderson, Hurley; six great-great-grandchildren; numerous stepgrandchildren, stepgreat-grandchildren and stepgreat-great-grandchildren; two sisters, Judy Lake, Ironwood, and Faye Shawbitz, Waukesha; a daughter-in-law, Lorraine Kovales, Coldwater; son-in-law, Ernest Witek, Waukesha; numerous nieces and nephews; and very special friend, Sophie Korhonen, of Bessemer, Mich.

Besides her parents and husband, Hilda was preceded in death by a son, Rudolph “Johnnie” Kovales, and daughter, Mavis Witek, both in 2008; grandson, David Heikkila; brothers, Eino, Edwin and Eugene Lake; sisters, Helmi Nylund, Helen Waltonen and Helena Kasky; and brother-in-law, Michael Shawbitz.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, March 26, at 2 p.m., preceded by visitation at 1 p.m., at St. Mary’s Church in Hurley, with the Rev. Frank Kordek OFM, celebrant.

Luncheon will follow in the parish hall.

Rite of Committal and interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood, later this spring.

Pallbearers will be Gary Ryskewecz, Paul and John Semo, Wayne Korhonen, Michael Witek and Steve Kovales.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home Inc., Ironwood, where condolences may be given online at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.

Ryan and Joanne would like to thank the staff at Villa Maria Health and Rehabilitation Center for all their loving care of Hilda over the past few years. Special thanks to Jen for all her help these past few days.