CALUMET — Arbutus Bleise, 91, went home to her Lord and Savior on April 13, 2018. She passed away at the Houghton County Medical Care Facility, where she had been a resident since February 2017.
She was born on July 4, 1926, in Laurium, to Edward and Olga Willmers. Arbutus attended Dollar Bay Schools and graduated from Suomi College.
Arbutus was employed as an Avon saleswoman in the Lake Linden-Hubbell area, a Michigan Tech Nursery School teacher and a Head Start Teacher in Lake Linden and Centennial Heights.
On June 21, 1946, Arbutus married Joseph Bleise. They resided in Hubbell and in Oneco, where they pursued and enjoyed their love of gardening and hobby farming. They were blessed with six children. Their oldest child, Michael (Pipes), was a special needs son. Arbutus was relentless in seeking services for special education children in the Copper Country, so that Michael could be at home with the family.
As a loving, dedicated mother, Arbutus engaged her children in numerous learning activities [FD1] where she often was a leader. She was a Sunday school teacher, a 4-H leader and a Horse Club leader. As a homemaker, she insured her children knew how to cook, bake, sew and clean before leaving home. Arbutus is remembered for her baking and flower gardening. She was passionate about flowers, creating flower beds that bloomed throughout the seasons so she could entertain friends and the lunch bunch from Dollar Bay and Hubbell, Special Education classes and Head Start classes for garden viewing.
Arbutus is preceded in death by her husband, Joseph; two sons, Michael and Jerome; her parents, Edward and Olga; and a sister, Helene.
She is survived by two sisters, Jean Carey of Midland and Bettie Gromaski of Auburn; two sons, William (Bonnie) of Shephard and Richard (Cindy) of Calumet; two daughters, Faye (Robert) DeMarte of Eagle River, Wisconsin and JoAnn DeMarte-Weiss (Donald) of Ahmeek; nine grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Her family would like to thank the staff of Keweenaw Home Nursing, the Houghton County Medical Care Facility and her personal doctor, Dr. Lee, for the love and care they gave to Arbutus.
A memorial service will be held on June 9, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the Shining Light Church of Laurium.
The Pearce Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.
Online condolences may be left at pearcefuneralhome.com.