HANCOCK - Daryl D. Laitila of Hancock, died on April 25, 2012, at home with her family by her side after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
She was born in 1948, in Alma, Mich., the daughter of Lionel and Doratha Furgason. She grew up in Breckinridge, Mich. and graduated from Breckinridge High School in 1966.
She attended Michigan State University and studied in Switzerland as part of the James Madison College of MSU. She later enrolled at Central Michigan University and graduated in 1970 with a BA in Art and French Education.
In 1974, she was married to William Laitila and the couple resided in Owosso.
She taught in the Chesaning Union School District until 1985 when the family moved to Hancock. She began teaching languages, art, computer graphic design and staff tech support at Houghton High and Middle School. Daryl was instrumental in the first distance learning education program in area schools.
In 1999, she retired from teaching and in a few days, began her second career working for pasty.net in tech support, e-commerce and web design. She assisted many local residents, businesses and visitors with tech support, website design, computer training, use of the Internet and e-commerce. She was a gifted expert and enjoyed working with high technology devices and was frequently called by friends and others for advice in purchasing and implementing new technology. She was an early Apple Computer "Mac addict" enthusiast.
Daryl was a loving wife and mother. She enjoyed traveling and on several occasions, escorted her French students to France and Quebec Province.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Ted; a nephew, Cameron Johnson; brothers-in-law, Jay Casemire and Dr. Edward Laitila.
She is survived by her husband of 38 years, William Laitila; a son, Mikael Laitila of Hancock; a daughter, Eliisa Laitila (Jason Baragar) of Hancock; a brother, Larry (Kris) Furgason of Augusta, Ga.; sisters, Carolyn (Dr. Lloyd) Rotz of Spring Lake, Mich. and Marolyn Furgason of Rockledge, Fla.; sisters-in-law, Helen (John) Boyle of Greenville, S.C., Karen M. Johnson of Baltic, Barbara (Captain Carl) Berry of Morris, Ill., and Annabelle Laitila of Avon, Ind.; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, the Michigan Education Association and an early and active member of the Finnish Theme Committee of the City of Hancock.
Daryl will be greatly missed by her family and friends, who sometimes referred to her as the "first lady of Hancock." Her acquaintances would agree it was an apt title. She had a contagious giggle to the amusement of family and friends.
A memorial service conducted by Pastor Bucky Brown Beach will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1100 College Ave., Houghton at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, with visitation at 10 a.m. and a luncheon to follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in her memory to Finlandia University in Hancock (finlandia.edu) or Dial Help Community Support & Outreach Center, Houghton (dialhelp.org).
The O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home, 214 Hancock St., Hancock is assisting the family with arrangements and receiving condolences at oneilldennisfh.com.