KEWEENAW BAY -Bertha Elizabeth Mykkanen Rogers, 67, of Keweenaw Bay, passed away Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at her daughter's home in Middleville, Mich., following a lengthy illness.
Bertha was born at her parents' home in rural Pine River, Minn., on May 14, 1946, the daughter of the late Hugo and Loretta (Meyer) Mykkanen.
She graduated from Pine River High School in 1964. Bertha received the Bachelor of Arts Degree in rural human service leadership, and Sampo Awards and a certificate in mediation from the former Suomi College. She was named in "Who's Who Among Students in American College and Universities" and received the Copper Country Association of School Board School Service Award.
On November 19, 1965, Bertha was married to Shirley Rogers. They had four children, Gayle, Dean, Debra and Daryl. She and her husband moved to Pequot Lakes, Minn., in 1968 to dairy farm. There they developed a registered Holstein dairy herd. Bertha served on the DHIA Board as secretary, Walden Township Treasurer, Cass County Homemakers Council secretary and taught Sunday School. In 1983, the family moved to Keweenaw Bay. Bertha was the Baraga County 4-H Program coordinator for 27 years. She was a member of the Michigan Extension Association of 4-H Youth Staff (MAE 4-HYS) and a 4-H Leader for 26 years. She was a member of the Baraga County Human Resources Council, BHK Great Exploration Strategic Planning Committee, Touch the Future program, FEMA Board, and co-coordinator of the SHARE Program. Bertha was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the Baraga County Fair. She was recognized by the MAE 4-HYS) for excellence in 4-H Programs with the Distinguished Service Award, Presidential Citation, Achievement, Diversity and Team Awards. Bertha operated her sewing and alteration business for more than 20 years. In addition to sewing, she enjoyed gardening, reading, her family, friends, long walks and the beautiful lake.
Bertha is survived by her loving children; Gayle Thomley, and children Seth, Ryan and Colton of Silverhill, Ala., Dean and children, Holly, Kenny, Maija, and Lisa of Baraga, Debra (Durk) Snyder and children Zack, Ashley, Carly, and Drake of Middleville, Mich., and Daryl and children Derek and Brandon of Negaunee; sister, Loretta (Tillman) Rude of Backus, Minn.; brothers, John (Diane) Mykkanen of Pine River, Minn., Henry Mykkanen of Pequot Lakes, Minn.; aunts, Susan Langer of Swanville, Minn., and Agnes Vick of Delano, Minn.; sister-in-law, Betty Backes of Prescott, Wis.; brother-in-law, Del Rogers of Holy Oke, Minn.; several nieces, nephews, cousins; and her special friend, Rob Laws of Carney, Mich.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Shirley; parents, Hugo and Loretta Mykkanen; infant grandson, Joel Thomley; and infant sister, Sarah.
A celebration of Bertha's life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, 2014, in the Reid Funeral Service and Chapel, L'Anse with Pastor Christine Bohnsack officiating.
Bertha's family will greet friends at the funeral chapel on Saturday from 11 a.m. until the time of the service.
Following the funeral service, the family invites friends to fellowship and a luncheon at the Keweenaw Bay Fire Hall.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family suggests memorials in Bertha's honor be directed to the ALS Organization. Envelopes will be available at the funeral chapel. Spring interment will take place in the Keweenaw Bay Cemetery.
Bertha's obituary may also be viewed and condolences sent to the family at rfsc.net.
The Reid Funeral Service and Chapel, L'Anse has been entrusted with the arrangements.