The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

JoAnn Edith Ollikainen


RAMSAY, Mich. - JoAnn Edith Ollikainen, 67, of Ramsay, our Angel on Earth spread her wings and went to heaven to be with the love of her life, on May 18, 2016.

She was born on May 9, 1949, in Detroit, daughter of the late Douglas C. Carlson and Edith J. (Ohman) Carlson. She attended A.D. Johnston Bessemer High School in Bessemer, graduating in 1969.

She was united in marriage to her high school sweetheart, Erland William Ollikainen, on July 18, 1970 at the Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer. Erland preceded her on March 10, 2014. She was employed at Bessemer Big Dollar prior to giving birth to her first child and then made it her life's work caring for them and eventually her grandchildren.

She enjoyed knitting, crocheting and quilting. She made handmade dishcloths and gave them away to everyone she knew. She had a heart of gold and enjoyed being a caretaker for everyone, even perfect strangers. She never said a bad word about anyone and everyone she crossed paths with had the same things to say about her, that she was the most kind-hearted, caring and generous person they had ever met.

She was very proud of her grandchildren and talked about them often. When she would introduce herself to her grandchildren's friends she would say just call me "Grandma O" everyone does. She did many firsts in the last year with her family, like driving and riding on a pontoon, camping, and even catching her first fish by herself. She got back on a horse and rode it for the first time in over 40 years with her grandchildren and that was a highlight for her.

She was a proud member of the Northern Lights Quilt Guild and Nanette's Knits Fiber Group where she made many special friends.

Surviving are her two daughters, Linda (Shawn) Kitto, of Bessemer, and Brenda Ollikainen, of Copper City; four grandchildren, Bradley and Kelsey Kitto, of Bessemer, and Peyton Wiitanen and Natalie Switzer, of Copper City; two sisters-in-law, Charolette (Paul) Johnson, of Bessemer, and Carole (Eddie) Glover, of Columbus, N.M .; a brother-in-law Jeff (Mary) Ollikainen, of Montreal, Wis .; and numerous nieces, nephews and close special friends. Also, her sweet, furry companion, Maya.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 43 years, Erland; her father and mother, Douglas and Edith Carlson; and her mother- and father-in-law, William and Astrid Ollikainen.

Out of respect for JoAnn's wishes, cremation has taken place at the Range Crematory in Hurley.

A memorial service will be celebrated at Sharon Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 11 a.m. preceded by visitation at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Bill Jacobson officiating.

A luncheon will follow in the parish hall.

Inurnment will take place at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Bessemer.

Arrangements are by Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home of Bessemer. To express condolences on line, please visit


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