MARQUETTE - Aino Arlene (Palu) Akel, 91, of Lakeshore Park Place, died peacefully at home on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012.
Aino was born March 25, 1921, in the small Estonian village of Lutsniku, the eldest daughter of Hendrik and Ida Palu.
Aino met Edgar Akel in the fall of 1939 and they were married May 16, 1941. They, with their young daughter, Viive, escaped from Estonia in 1944 before the Soviet occupation and lived in the American Zone in Germany where Edgar worked for the U.S. Military Government Court and their second daughter, Marianne was born. In June 1949, the family immigrated to the Marquette area, sponsored by the Charles Fransisco family in Marquette. Later, Edgar owned and operated the Pioneer Insurance Agency in Negaunee. Aino worked by his side for many years.
They eventually created a garden-filled homestead near Negaunee, where they grew their own fruits and vegetables, skiied, took saunas and enjoyed music, dancing together in perfect step. Aino was known for her optimistic view of life, sense of humor, great singing voice and loving and friendly personality. She was a fabulous, natural cook and entertainer. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend.
Aino returned to her homeland for the first time in 1971 and she and Edgar made a number of subsequent trips to Estonia to visit family, especially after Estonia regained its independence in 1991. In addition to trips to Estonia, Aino and Edgar enjoyed travels to other parts of Europe, Hawaii, Austrailia, New Zealand and the Fiji Islands.
She is survived and greatly missed by her husband of 71 years, Edgar Akel of Marquette; a sister, Asta Maessar of Parnu, Estonia; a brother, Heino Pallo of Tartu, Estonia; two daughters, Viive (Ken) Morin of Marquette and Marianne (Alan) Brokaw of Houghton; four grandchildren; Kellie (Paul) Smith of Madison, Wis., Tina (Morin)Harris of Negaunee, Marika (Matt) Siegel of Houghton and Tomas Brokaw of Chicago; five great-grandchildren, Ender and Endla Harris, Connor Smith, Annika and Indrek Seigel; and Mark Harris, father of Ender and Endla.
Aino was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Nelli Palu (1984); and infant grandson, Karl Brokaw (1971).
A private family memorial and celebration of Aino's life will be held at the family homestead in Negaunee.
The family thanks all the friends and family who supported them during this difficult time, and is grateful for the help of U.P. Home Health and Hospice and for the loving care provided by elder care aide, Linda Havican.