Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Sylvia A. Oja

WAKEFIELD, Mich. — Sylvia A. “Smo” Oja, 93, formerly of Putnam St., in Wakefield, passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

She was born on Oct. 5, 1925, in Wakefield, the third daughter of Elias and Maria (Hautaoja) Oja. Smo attended Wakefield High School and graduated in 1943. She continued her education at Suomi College in Hancock.

Smo worked for many years at the Wakefield City Finance Department. She was also employed for a period of time at the U.S. Forest Service in Ironwood.

She was a devoted member of All Saints Lutheran Church in Wakefield and could often be seen making the half-block trek between her home and the church.

Smo is survived by six nieces and nephews as well as 19 great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother and sister-in-law, Veikko and Marie Oja; three sisters and two brothers-in-law, Ile Oja, Rhoda and Jim Johnson and Syma and Sig Erickson; a nephew, Ken Oja; and a great-nephew, Greg Oja.

Smo’s family is grateful for the example she left them of a quiet and pious life. She spent many years caring for her mother and always greeted those who were blessed to know her with a welcoming smile and a gentle word of advice or encouragement. Even in her later years, Smo maintained a sense of humor that often surprised and delighted those who were fortunate enough to know her.

The family would like to express their particular gratitude to the kind and caring staff at Gogebic Medical Care Facility, who served selflessly to make Smo’s life as comfortable and meaningful as possible for more than a decade.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 29, at 11:30 a.m., preceded by visitation at 11 a.m., at All Saints Lutheran Church, 1202 Putnam St., in Wakefield, with Mr. Andrew Hill officiating.

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

A luncheon will follow at All Saints Lutheran Church fellowship hall.

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