Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Elvie Vivian Strand

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Elvie Vivian Strand, 94, of Ironwood, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, at Sky View Nursing Center in Hurley, Wisconsin, surrounded by her loving daughters.

Elvie was born on Jan. 25, 1928, in Ironwood, to John and Vivian Makela. She graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in 1945.

After graduation, Elvie worked in Chicago, then returned to Ironwood and worked for Michigan Bell Telephone as an operator and Vertin's Department Store as a buyer.

She was a 4-H leader and a band mom who took many bus trips with her daughters. She and Wally traveled across the Upper Peninsula following the horse show circuit where her daughters competed. She will be remembered by many for the birthday cards and greetings she sent out. Her calendar was full of those special days. She received lots of cards in return.

Elvie was a member of the Salem Lutheran Church. She and Walfred "Wally" Strand were married on Aug. 25, 1954, at Salem by the late Rev. Earl Gustafson. Wally died on June 11, 1995.

Survivors include two daughters and sons-in-law, Linda and Michael Tilley of Bessemer, and Arlove and Dan Peterson of Marshfield, Wisconsin; a step-granddaughter, Jessica (David) Lind; two step-great-grandchildren, Jack and Elizabeth Lind of Wausau, Wisconsin; and numerous special nieces and nephews who all kept in contact with her. She is further survived by her dear, longtime friend, Marilyn Ercoli.

Besides her husband, Elvie was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Verner, Nels and Wayne Makela; two sisters, Nellie and Aura; a special niece who was like a sister to her, Eileen Doucette; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Erick and Lempi Strand; and her sisters-in-law and brothers-in law, Sylvia Makela, Helia Johnson, Nick and Eleanor Heikkila, Robert and Marge Strand, Eva and David Johnson, Bill Champion, and Bill and Jean (Champion) Ryan; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 9 a.m., at Salem Lutheran Church in Ironwood, with the Rev. Nicole Hanson-Lynn officiating. The service will also be live streamed at and on Salem's Facebook page.

Committal services and interment will take place at the Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood, in the spring.

Expressions of affection in a charitable contribution in Elvie's memory are suggested in lieu of flowers to Salem Lutheran Church, 333 E. Aurora St., Ironwood, MI 49938, or HOPE Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 261, Ironwood, MI 49938.

Thank you to the staff at Sky View Nursing Center for your compassionate care given to our mother, and to our cousin, Carol McRae, for always being there.

Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, is assisting the family. To send online condolences or to share a memory, please go to

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