The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Fannie I. Wehmas


SAXON, Wis. - Fannie I. Wehmas, 90, of Saxon, passed away at her home on Jan. 6, 2017.

She was born Oct. 28, 1926, in a log cabin in Kimball, the daughter of the late Gust and Olga (Lehtola) Salli. She attended Kimball Grade School and graduated from J.E. Murphy High School in Hurley in 1945.

She married Robert Wehmas of Saxon on June 15, 1946, in Ironwood, Mich. He preceded her in death on Sept. 29, 1993.

Fannie enjoyed working on the family dairy farm and was so proud of it. She retired in 1993 after her husband passed away. She lived life to the fullest. She served on the FHA board of directors and for 20 years on the National Finnish American Festival board of directors. She was the coffee lady, the sunshine girl, sang in the choir, was a member of the Little Finland Women's Auxiliary and volunteered at the gift shop at Little Finland.

Fannie had a wonderful 90th birthday celebration with her family and friends. She loved dancing, going to the casino and traveling on bus trips with her many friends, and also loved to relax at home, do puzzles and take care of her cats. She was known as the "Cheese Lady" for making her squeaky cheese and enjoyed entering her exhibits at the Iron County Fair. Her family will miss her skinny pancakes and her infectious smile, as well.

Surviving are two sons, Arnold, Glendale, Colo., and Dale (Sandy), Saxon; two daughters, Jean Koivisto, Woodruff, and Raye Ann Pelkola (Ron Bork), Wausau; nine grandchildren, Heather Pelkola (Dave Barbacovi), Brett Pelkola (Savanna Huotari), Jason Pelkola (Crystal Laabs), Holly (Rich) Mansavage, Jodi (Jesse) Smith, Jennifer Reed, and Carl, Kayla and Amanda Wehmas; seven great-grandchildren, Brandon, Evan, Ethan, Erica, Tanner, Owen and Jordan; a brother, Waino (Elsie) Salli, Wakefield, Mich .; sisters-in-law, Rauha Salli, Betty Salli and Nancy Salli; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husband, Fannie was predeceased by a daughter, Roberta; great-grandson, Wesley Pelkola; son-in-law, Ray Koivisto; brothers, Oiva, Tarmo, Arne and Urho Salli; and sisters Ruth Salli, Viena Sivula and Rauha Ylitalo.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Jan. 13, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home, 305 N. Lowell St., in Ironwood, with Pastor Kurt Kovanen officiating.

Luncheon will follow at the Saxon Community Center.

Spring committal and interment will be in Lakeview Cemetery, Saxon.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home Inc., Ironwood. Fannie's obituary can be viewed online and condolences given to her family at


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