Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Muriel Bernice Rostollan

AUBURN, Mich. - Muriel Bernice Rostollan passed away Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, after a short stay at Auburn Fields Assisted Living and Memory Care, Auburn, Michigan. She had just turned 99 years old and had recently celebrated 78 years of marriage with the love of her life, Walter E. Rostollan, who became 100 years old last July. We know she is now in heaven with her Lord and Savior, waiting for his arrival.

Muriel Johnson was born in Oulu, Wisconsin, on Jan. 18, 1925, the daughter of Estrid Linnea (Erickson) and Jacob Hilmar Johnson. She shared with us many stories of life on the farm, next to the "crick" (Muskeg River), growing up with four sisters and three brothers. She attended grade school in Oulu and attended Oulu Baptist Church, where her mother was the organist. She attended high school in Ashland, Wisconsin, so she needed to work for room and board. Her duties included washing and ironing, cooking, cleaning, and babysitting. Upon completion of high school, she worked as a nanny in the greater Chicago area.

Muriel's family moved to Saxon, where she met Walter and married him on Dec. 15, 1945. The couple had three children, and then became foster parents for the State of Wisconsin. They fostered at least 14 children, and later adopted one into the family whom they had cared for since birth.

Muriel and Walter purchased a service station in Saxon in 1961, which also included the delivery of bulk fuel and propane tanks. While Walter was out on deliveries, Muriel ran the station. She pumped gas, answered the many phone calls and managed all the bookkeeping.

She served as Clerk for the grade school on the Saxon School Board, partnered with Walter and held a weekly community Bible Study in private homes in the Saxon area. They were dedicated, active members in the Gideons International, both in Ironwood and Bay City.

Because of her great love of Jesus and how much she wanted to share him with others, she actively served in her church, especially in children's ministry programs. At First Baptist Church in Ironwood, she did everything from driving the Vacation Bible School bus from Saxon to Ironwood in the summer, to teaching Sunday School classes, to cooking at the church's camp - Lake Superior Bible Camp. Usually accompanied by Walter on his accordion or guitar, she sang for many weddings, funerals and other church special occasions. She also led and directed the choir for many years, and between she and Walter, passed their love of music on to their children and grandchildren...a legacy which still continues.

One of her favorite quotes was, "There's no such word as 'can't'!" 

Muriel was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Clarence, Jacob and Arnold Johnson; and her sisters, Ethlyn "Ethie" Rostollan, Dorothy Piell and Elsie Niemi. Surviving is one sister, Florence "Flossie" Nelson, Neenah, Wisconsin.

Muriel is survived by her husband, Walter; and children Robert (Diane) Rostollan, of Auburn, Elizabeth "Betsy" Klotz, of Auburn, Lucinda "Cindy" (Dale) Bradley, of North Adams, Massachusetts, and Carrie (Gary) Davis, of Midland. Surviving also are eight grandchildren, twenty-three great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 24, at First Baptist Church in Auburn, with visitation being held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., when there will be a service led by Rev. Edward Lawrence. All are welcome to attend and share in the lunch and fellowship following the service. Regarding those who may want to make a donation, please consider the Gideons International or a favorite charity of yours.