The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Mary Ellen (Kulick) Carmichael


August 10, 2018

IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Mary Ellen (Kulick) Carmichael, 78, of Ironwood Township, died at home Monday, June 4 after a long battle with heart disease.

Mary was born in Michigamme, Mich., and was daughter to Alfred Kulick and Helen (Kulick) Mayotte. She was a graduate of Marenisco High School and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. One highlight of her time there was shaking the hand of John F. Kennedy at a student meet-and-greet. She later earned her master's degree at Purdue University and worked as high school social studies teacher.

She met her husband, Dan Carmichael, while they both worked at Thornridge High School in Dolton, Ill. They shared a love of history, politics and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. They married in October 1970 and eventually settled down in Homewood, Ill., in 1974. At the same time, with the help of her father and local friends, Mary and Dan built a cabin on Moraine Lake, ten miles from Marenisco, where she had grown up. There the family had many adventures entertaining family and friends, swimming and boating, and roughing it with minimal electricity from a fussy WWII generator. Mary took several years off of teaching to stay at home with her daughters, but returned to teaching after a decade away. After moving with her family to Stevens Point, Wis. in 1988, she taught humanities and writing for Lakeland College; and was a history professor at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.

Dan and Mary retired to Little Girl's Point, Ironwood Township, in 1996 and spent many happy years living on the shores of Lake Superior before the bad winter roads pushed them to move closer to town. Mary loved watching the dramatic weather changes and seeing storms alter the character of the lake. Mary enjoyed gardening, and was truly a domestic goddess in every sphere. She took tremendous pride in cooking, baking, sewing, and crafts, and always had a household project in the works. Her bird feeders were kept filled and her house kept spotless. She never tired of hearing and sharing brag-worthy stories about her grandchildren.

Mary gave much of her life to volunteering for many organizations including the Girl Scouts, the South Suburban Humane Society, the Portage County Literacy Council, and the Gogebic County Democratic Party. Mary was an avid bridge player for all of her life and eagerly anticipated every football season so she could watch her beloved Green Bay Packers. Mary could easily read a book a day, and she was a loving pet mom to many rescued dogs and cats.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother Robert Romig of Seattle, Wash.

Mary is survived by her husband, Dan Carmichael Jr .; her daughters, Sarah Carmichael (Jon) of Pepperell, Mass., and Betty Carmichael (Paul) of Stevens Point, Wis ,; her step-daughters, Lynne Whitmore (Kra) of Lakeland, Fla. and Lisa Myers (Eugene) of Seminole, Fla .; her brother, William Romig, of Port Angeles, Wash .; her step-father, Kenneth Mayotte, of Marquette, Mich .; and twelve grandchildren.

Mary's family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to her neighbors, the Borth family, whose generosity, hard work and friendship made it possible for her to remain at home until the end, as was her wish.

Out of respect for Mary's wishes, cremation has taken place. Mary's ashes will be laid near her parents in the Marenisco Cemetery.

The family is planning a celebration of life for Mary on Saturday, Aug. 11 at noon at The Elk and Hound in Ironwood.

In honor of Mary, donations can be made to the H.O.P.E Animal Shelter in Ironwood, Michigan and/or votes can be cast for your favorite Democratic candidate in the next election.

Ketola-Burla Funeral Home is assisting the family.

For more information or to give online condolences, please visit


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