Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Florence I. Rundell

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Florence I. Rundell, 91, a long-time resident of Bessemer, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, at Westgate Nursing, Rehabilitation and Assisted Living Community in Ironwood with her son, David, by her side.

She was born on Jan. 9, 1929, daughter of Gustav and Hulda (Turminin) Johnson. She attended Bessemer schools and graduated from A.D. Johnson High School with the class of 1946.

Florence married Arthur W. Rundell, the only guy for her, on Nov. 13, 1948. He preceded her in death on Aug. 12, 1993.

She worked at Bev's Flower Shop in Bessemer and later at Lutey's Flower Shop in Ironwood. She was a talented florist.

Faithful and kind, and loving to all, Florence exemplified what it means to be a true Christian. She made the best of what she had and was a very giving person. She loved the traditions from Sweden and Finland; and her granddaughter says, "She embodies the Finnish sisu." She had the almost magical ability to do what needed to be done, stoic determination, the tenacity of purpose, resilience, and hardiness. She had steadfast values and found poetry in the simplicity and majesty of nature in every season. She liked to sing in the church choir and while doing the laundry and could hit the highest notes with ease. She was also a very good ice skater and could accomplish many of the moves the Olympic skaters were doing.

She was a member of the Range Art Association and was a talented artist working in both water and oil; and enjoyed outings with the other artists. She was recognized for her artwork and won awards. She knew the rules of symmetry and balance and how to artfully break them, as nature does. She would say to add a little blue or purple to tie any colors together. Her sketches and watercolors featured portraits, nature scenes from the Upper Peninsula, some comical roosters, animals, weathered sheds in fields and landscapes. She loved her painting and drawing sessions with her granddaughters around the kitchen table. They had a wonderful teacher. The girls loved it; however, the boys played outside or hung with grandpa!

Florence was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend and will be missed dearly and carried in the hearts of those who love her, until we meet again. She loved all her grandchildren very much and wished she could have seen them all more often. The grandchildren all remember how she loved to laugh and would have you laughing and crying until your ribs hurt, and then it would start up all over again just thinking about it.

She enjoyed spending time with family foremost, gardening, canning, cooking, baking and sewing. She would whip up delicious stews, pasties, sweet rolls, breads and made jelly and jam from her raspberry patch, and apple pies from her apple trees. She enjoyed playing in her ladies' bridge club and went to Minocqua, Wisconsin, to compete in a tournament or two. She enjoyed sharing stories of growing up in Bessemer and spending time on the farm east of Marenisco and the logging camp in Matchwood. She always put others first and would do anything she could to help. Florence hurdled many obstacles growing up and grew even stronger. She had a strong faith and overcame a 3½-year struggle with arthritis.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Gustav and Hulda Johnson; stepfather, Max Wood; beloved husband, Arthur; brothers, Corbin in infancy, Sven and William Johnson; sister, Mildred (Murra) Langdon; stepbrother, Wally; sister-in-law, Lois (Rundell) Last and her husband, Harvey; brothers-in-law, Russell and Robert Rundell; Art's sister-in-law, Beverly (James) Rundell; Art's brother-in-law, Carl (Betty) Johnson; and nephew Steven Murra.

Florence is survived by sons, Ronald Rundell of Bessemer, Scott Rundell of Morehead, Kentucky, Wayne (Kristie) Rundell of Ashland, Wisconsin, and David (Kim) of Bessemer; daughter, Sharon (Royal) Smith of Fort Worth, Texas; 12 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; Art's sisters-in-law, Edith (Vandenburg) Rundell of Ironwood and Kathryn (Martin) Rundell of Bessemer; sister-in-law, Betty (Carl) Johnson of Bessemer; brothers-in-law, James Rundell of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and Leo (Carol) Rundell of Green River, Wyoming; daughters-in-law; 14 nieces; 10 nephews; and many relatives in Sweden. There is also a stepbrother, Glen Wood of East Hampton, Connecticut; but it is unknown whether he is alive or deceased.

A funeral service will be held at Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home in Bessemer on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at 11 a.m. with Pastor Bill Jacobson officiating preceded by a visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. A luncheon will be held at the Sharon Lutheran Church's basement following the service.

Interment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery, Bessemer, in the spring.

Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home, Bessemer, is assisting the family. Leave a condolence or tribute for Florence's family online at

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