A resident of South Range, Michigan, and former resident of Gillette, our precious mother, Lorna Laamanen, passed away peacefully at her son’s home in Evanston on Saturday, Nov. 7. She was 81 years old.
Lorna was born in Misery Bay, Toivola, Michigan, to the late Arne and Edna (Johnson) Maki. She grew up and attended school in Misery Bay and in 1976, earned her diploma attending night classes at the Heikkinen School in Toivola.
In 1960, Lorna married James Wiitala, and to this union five children were born. They were married for 26 years when James passed away in 1986.
In 2003, Lorna married Howard Laamanen. They were married for 11 years when Howard passed away in 2014. Lorna devoted her life to her children and many people considered her their surrogate mother. She treated everyone she met in life with compassion, acceptance and generosity, because those things are what encapsulated who she was and how she lived her life.
Lorna was a quiet, petite lady with a great sense of humor. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, music and dancing, crocheting, reading, solving sudoku and crossword puzzles. Lorna also enjoyed bird watching and spending time with family pets, with the most recent being her granddog, Titan.
Lorna is survived by her five children: Chet (Debra) Wiitala of Evanston; Chad Wiitala of Gillette; Carol (Clint) Maki of Toivola, Michigan; Carrie (Reid) Lindgren of Rozet; and Chris Wiitala of South Range, Michigan.
She is also survived by sisters: June Dale of Cibolo, Texas; Erma Isaacson of Avon Park, Florida; and Norma Joan Perry of Marquette, Michigan; fifteen grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and close friend, Rachel Wiitala.
Lorna is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Howard; and two brothers, Wesley and Roy Maki. Private cremation has taken place and per Lorna’s wishes there will be no services.