Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Rose Polar Martin

WATERSMEET, Mich. -Rose Polar Martin, Meshkoweweaasinookwe, began her beautiful journey to eternity on June 10, 2019, just shy of her 95th birthday. Rose lived the most incredible life, leaving a legacy of love, resiliency and traditional values that her family will find strength in as we live life without her.

Rose was born to the late Henry and Minnie Polar on Aug. 1, 1924, along the banks of the Wisconsin River. She also passed away on the banks of the Wisconsin River at Friendly Village in Rhinelander, Wis. She was raised at the "village" at Lac Vieux Desert among her closest friends and relatives.

She had one brother, Henry Polar Jr., and a sister, Lillian Polar. Together, they learned the old ways of their ancestors - teachings that Rose was proud to pass along to her children and grandchildren. Rose attended a one-room schoolhouse at Lac Vieux Desert.

She shared many stories of her teacher and classmates. Rose was a fluent speaker of her first language, Ojibwe. Her face would light up when she would share stories in Ojibwe. Rose loved reminiscing about days at wild rice camp, berry and green picking, sugar camp, and riding her pony at the village.

In 1947, Rose married Charles "Sam" Martin. Rose and Sam shared many years together raising their beautiful family before Sam's death in 1973. Rose had six children; Mae, Waabanookwe, giiwegiizhigookwe, Rosie, Willy, and her baby, the late Aggie Martin.

Rose had 10 grandchildren, Blaine Mansfield, Craig Mansfield, Sadie Valliere, Cole Belongie, Brad Hokkanen, Lesha Holler, Charlie Martin, Jenna Martin, Ryan Huhtala and the late Blake Chiochios. Rose also had 11 great-grandchildren, Henri, Jalynn and Elizsabeth Valliere, Vicki Tussey, Austin Hokkanen, Brayden Holler, Carson Holler, Maska Martin, Zane Martin, Maegan Mansfield and Roger Mansfield. Rose also had four great-great-grandchildren, Audrianna Tussey, Abigail Tussey, Cruz Huhtala and Bodie Mansfield.

Rose took great pride in raising a loving and hardworking family. She cherished their family picnics at many of the local lakes. She was beside them at all of their greatest accomplishments, as she was so proud of her children and their families. Rose and her dear friend and companion, Joe, owned a cabin along the shore of Lake Superior where they spent many summer days. Rose passed along her love for camping, fishing and the outdoors to her grandchildren. She always had a camper with a refrigerator full of food and a deck of cards to challenge any visitor in a hand of rummy. No matter if she was at the camper, or at home, we would always find her sitting at her window seat with a fresh cup of coffee watching the birds and admiring her beautiful flowers.

Rose held many jobs throughout her life, always caring for people. She helped her husband Sam support her family by peeling pulp out in the woods as they worked side by side. She also picked greens to help make ends meet. She was a nurse's aide for many years and she took care of every patient like they were her own family. In her free time, she loved to spend time with her best friend and cousin, Rena. Rose and Rena made many memories together and shared a lifetime of laughter. Rose was a master beadworker and artist. She loved to paint, and her handwriting was an art form itself.

Later in life, Rose lived with her daughter, giiwe. Rose and giiwe enjoyed many years at their home in Watersmeet. Together, they grew plentiful gardens, enjoyed their beautiful yard, bird watching, and evening rides to places they both loved.

Rose spent many winters with her son, Willy, and favorite daughter-in-law, Sali, in Antioch, Ill. Sali and Rose also took many road trips to visit casinos and sights all around the country.

Although Rose's seat by the window is now empty, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren find comfort in knowing she will live in happiness with all of her friends and relatives that have gone on before her, whom she has missed so dearly. We are forever grateful to have been blessed with Meshko in our lives. We will live each day honoring her and the love she shared with all of us.

Special thanks from the entire family to Evelynn Mansfield for visiting her Gramma every day at Friendly Village to be sure she was well cared for.

Visitation for Rose will be held Saturday, June 15, at Watersmeet Baptist Church from noon until 1 p.m. CDT with a funeral service to follow. Pastor Steven Washburn will officiate. Burial will take place in Watersmeet Cemetery.

The Cane Funeral Home of Bruce Crossing is assisting the family with arrangements.