The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Martha A. Nurmi


WAKEFIELD, Mich. — Martha A. Nurmi, 100 years old, died on Thursday, June 20, 2013, at the Gogebic Medical Care Facility in Wakefield, surrounded by members of her family.

Mrs. Nurmi, a lifelong resident of Wakefield, was born on Oct. 22, 1912, the second daughter of John and Maria (Saarikoski) Hanapaa. She was educated in the Wakefield Schools and was a member of the class of 1930.

On March 1, 1941, she married Arvid K. Nurmi at First Lutheran Church in Wakefield.

Mrs. Nurmi was an active member of All Saints Lutheran Church, Wakefield, where she sang in the choir and participated in the women’s groups until it became necessary for her to curtail these activities because of health reasons. Even then, until recently, she could be found in her usual spot in the back pew on Sunday mornings.

Mrs. Nurmi had a lifelong love of music, owing in part to her mother’s talents. In addition to the church choir, she and her husband sang in the Finnish Festival Chorus for many years. Listening to music gave her great pleasure, and she was always quick to encourage the musical endeavors of others, especially young people including her son, John, and her grandson, David, and her many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and her great-grandnieces and nephews.  Several of them performed at a 100th birthday concert in her honor last August.

Cooking and baking were other pastimes Mrs. Nurmi enjoyed. Many a family gathering was enhanced by her culinary skills, especially in making several traditional Finnish dishes and her chocolate chip cookies.

Mrs. Nurmi is survived by her son, John (Karen), Ossining, N.Y .; her grandson, David; her beloved Toto; three sisters-in-law, Dorothy Dean, Gena Nurmi and Delores Will; her brother-in-law, Ernst Nurmi; and many caring nieces and nephews, among them Kevin, Janice, JoAnn, Sarah and Liisa, and their families.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Arvid, on Nov. 20, 1985; her sister, Ellen O’Connell; and her friend and brother-in-law, James Dean.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 26, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at All Saints Lutheran Church in Wakefield, with the Rev. Bill Jacobson officiating.

Interment will follow in Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield.

Lunch will be served in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Mrs. Nurmi’s memory may be made to All Saints Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 1202 Putnam St., Wakefield MI 49968, or to a charity of your choice.

Lakeside Memorial Chapel in Wakefield is assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy may be offered at


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