The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Nelmi Lorraine Martinson


IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Nelmi Lorraine Martinson, 86, joined her Lord in Heaven on March 24, 2017.

She was born in Ironwood Township on June 29, 1930, to Richard E. and Mary Wilhemina (Spetz) Niemi, the second of five children. She grew up on a farm in Ironwood Township and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School School, Ironwood, in 1948.

She worked at Wilsie's White Birch Lodge during the summer, where she met her future husband.

Nelmi and Carl (Rudy) Martinson were married on Jan. 28, 1950, at the Finnish Lutheran Church in Ironwood. They raised four children.

Nelmi and Rudy operated Car-Nel Farm in Bessemer Township for 40 years, first as dairy farmers and later as polled hereford farmers. Nelmi was as involved in the farming operation as her husband milking cows, making hay, picking rocks, and fixing fence, as well as raising their four children.

She had two off-the-farm jobs for a few years after her children had graduated from high school.

Nelmi was the founding secretary of the Harding Community Club, and active in PTA, Dairy Herd Improvement Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, National Farmers Organization and U.P. Hereford Breeders Association. Nelmi and Rudy received several production awards for their dairy herd and were the first small herd in the Upper Peninsula to reach a herd average of over 600 pounds of butterfat per cow.

Nelmi was the epitome of a homemaker. She cooked, baked, sewed, crocheted, knit, gardened and canned, and she did all of them extremely well. Her children and grandchildren benefitted from her talents.

Nelmi was the biggest supporter of her children and grandchildren. She attended all their events and activities to cheer them on.

Nelmi is survived by a daughter, Diane (Bill) Maccani; sons, Dan (Kathy) Martinson and Donald Martinson; son-in-law, Rod Passuello; grandchildren, Tara (Tim) Krall, Will (Gina) Maccani, Pete (Nicole) Passuello, Robin (Brad) Nezworski, Tammie (Joe) Paoli, Sarah (Angie) Passuello-Brady, Mark Maccani (Jenna Thompson), Danielle (David) Preston, Heidi (Tim) King, Jack Maccani, Clay Passuello, Marty Passuello, Lane (Ashley) Passuello and Eric Martinson; great-grandchildren, Cody and Madilyn Maccani, Austin, Ty and Haley Nezworski, Huston King, Dayne Stuhr, Vin and Lorenzo Paoli, Easton Preston, Katelyn Passuello and Lucas Koski. She is also survived by her sisters, Florence (Eugene) Thomas, and Ida Lindberg; brother, Ray (Olive) Niemi; and a large extended family.

Nelmi was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Carl (Rudy) Martinson; daughter, Doreen Passuello; sister, Susan Slade; sister-in-law, Ruth Potter; and niece, Arlene Wanink.

A memorial service will be held Monday, March 27, at Sharon Lutheran Church, Bessemer. Rev. Bill Jacobson will officiate. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. with the service at 11 a.m.

Luncheon will follow in the church hall. Spring inurnment will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gogebic Medical Care Facility which provided wonderful care to Nelmi.

"A mother holds her children's hands for a while, their hearts forever."

Range Funeral Service Inc., and the Frick-Zielisnki Funeral Home of Bessemer is in charge of funeral arrangements. To view this obituary online or to make condolences go to


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