Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Helvia Irene Maki

WAKEFIELD, Mich. - Helvia Irene Maki, a longtime resident of Wakefield, passed away Monday, June 3, 2019, at the age of 103.

Helvia was born on May 1, 1916, in Wakefield, a daughter of Jack Ludwig and Aurora Amelia (Vatajakoski) Nirva, who were both born in Kauhajoki, Finland. She attended Wakefield High School and graduated in 1934.

Helvia lived and worked in the Chicago area after graduating and married Alvin Bishop in 1936, in Illinois. She moved back to Wakefield in 1942.

On June 28, 1947, she was united in marriage to Samuel A. Maki at the First Lutheran Church in Wakefield.

Helvia worked for her aunt and uncle as a bookkeeper at Tuomela's Garage and Laundromat for many years. She was also employed as a nurse's aide at the Gogebic Medical Care Facility from 1962 to 1979.

Helvia was a lifetime member of All Saints Lutheran Church. She was a dedicated member of the Ladies' Auxiliary to Wakefield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9084, where she held many officer positions including being the treasurer for 15 years. It was her honor to be recognized by the auxiliary for 55 years of service.

Every year, Helvia enjoyed traveling to her grandchildren's birthdays and school celebrations. She had a great sense of humor, always had a smile and never complained. Whenever she was asked how she was doing, she would reply, "I'm still kicking!" Then, she would kick her right foot out. Following up this gesture with the words, "If you don't use it, you lose it!"

Helvia is survived by a son, Warren (Karen) Bishop, Oak Creek, Wis .; two daughters, Karen (Bishop) (Paul) Konrath, Lindenhurst, Ill., and Sharon (Maki) (Timothy) Levenhagen, Appleton, Wis .; seven grandchildren, Brian Bishop, Sheryl Bishop, Susan (Jeff) LaFond, Kimberly Konrath, Rena (Donn) Winkler, Gregory Levenhagen and Michael Levenhagen; six great-grandchildren, Nicole Bishop, Dakota Winkler, Miranda Winkler, Jack LaFond, Ben LaFond and Sydney LaFond; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Sam, on Sept. 12, 1994; two sisters and two brothers-in-law, Ann and Ralph Newman and Bertha and August Zitka; and a brother and sister-in-law, Eino and Julia Nerva.

The family will greet relatives and friends on Monday, June 17, from 10 to 10:45 a.m., at All Saints Lutheran Church, 1202 Putnam St., in Wakefield, followed by a memorial service under the auspices of the Ladies' Auxiliary. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Bill Jacobson officiating.

A committal service and interment will take place at Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield.

Luncheon will be served at the church fellowship hall upon return of the cemetery.

The family would like to say a special thank you to the caring staff at the Gogebic Medical Care Facility for the great care they showed Helvia.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at