Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Barbara J. Valle

IRONWOOD, Mich. — Barbara J. Valle, 84, of Ironwood, former longtime Hurley, Wis., resident, died Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Ironwood.

She was born Jan. 13, 1933, in Ironwood, the daughter of the late Carl and Jennie (Davis) Kaartunen.

She attended Ironwood schools, graduating from the Luther L. Wright High School with the class of 1951. Barb had been employed at Sher’s Grocery Store and did waitressing at the Sports Bowl and the Deer Trail Lodge. On Oct. 31, 1951, she joined the Women’s Army Corps and was honorably discharged on Oct. 31, 1953. In 1954, she moved to Detroit and worked in nursing. From 1974 to 1992, she worked in southern Wisconsin with the developmentally disabled.

She returned to the area in 1992 and had been an active member of Zion Lutheran Church in Ironwood. Barb sang in the church choir and was a self-taught artist. She loved to decorate and enjoyed soap operas and country music.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Clayton; one brother, Jackie; and one sister, Marian Wilson.

She is survived by her niece, Deborah (David) McDonell, of Ironwood; two nephews, Greg (Connie) Wilson, of Saudi Arabia, and Scott (Jill) Wilson, of Ironwood; eight great-nephews, Connor, Parker, Stewart, Philip, Patrick, Michael, Thomas and Aaron; six cousins, Gloria, Jim, Donna, Allie, Jennie and Sandra.

The memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, at Zion Lutheran Church in Ironwood. Pastor Kurt Kovanan will officiate. Barbara’s family will receive relatives and friends one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Memorials are preferred to the Zion Lutheran Church Choir or the general fund.

Spring inurnment will be in the Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood. Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Ketola-Burla Funeral Home of Ironwood is assisting the family with arrangements. To send online condolences, visit

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