HANCOCK - Kathleen H. Forsman, 71, of Hancock, passed away early on Sunday afternoon, May 11, 2014, with her family at her side.
Kathy was born on August 2, 1942, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hancock, a daughter of the late Walfred and Martha (Hendrickson) Niemi. She grew up on the family farm in Liminga. Kathy attended the Liminga School for five years, the one-room schoolhouse in Redridge with the same teacher for six years and finally Houghton High School, where she graduated.
Kathy met her future husband, William E. Forsman, when he was driving bus for Hancock Headstart. They were married on April 6, 1967, in Hancock. Kathy worked as a kitchen worker, bus driver and teacher's aide and for the Hancock Public Schools. One of her greatest joys was teaching Elisha Kitchen one-on-one for eight years. She was also a waitress, a census worker and worked side-by-side with her husband on the family farm.
Kathy enjoyed wildflowers, gardening, bird-watching and many other outdoor activities. Her great passion was music, playing guitar and singing at the Houghton County fair, area churches, nursing homes and family gatherings. Kathy was one of the original performers at the Country Show benefit for the Chassell and E.B. Holman Schools. She was a member of the Range Apostolic Lutheran Church in South Range. Kathy loved her family and was a devoted wife and mother. For the last few years of her life she was taken care of by her beloved husband at their home.
Besides her parents, Kathy was also preceded in death by her sister, Delores Pence; a brother, Lawrence Niemi; an infant great-grandson; and by seven brothers-in-law; and two sisters-in-law.
She is survived by her husband, William of Hancock; four sons, Robert (Lori) Nettell of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, and children, Joshua (Christian) Nettell, Destri Nettell, Ainsley Nettell, Paul Laprise and Joshua Laprise; Lindsay (Darcy) Nettell of Atlantic Mine and children, Londyn Nettell and Bronwyn Nettell; Duane (Janet) Nettell of Hancock and children, Jennifer (Matt Peterson) Nettell, Erik (Stephanie Farrell) Nettell, Bobbi Jo (Cody) Bonini, Megan (Leroy Mendez) Nettell, Taylor and Alex; and John Forsman of Hancock; two daughters, Sabrina (Mike) McCarroll and son, Will of Port Dover, Ontario, Canada and Joy (Reverend Ernest) Bylkas III, and children, Lydia and David of Hancock; (16 grandchildren in total); 16 great-grandchildren; one brother, Stanley (Nancy) Niemi of Ontonagon; two sisters, Arlene (Earl) Harden of Rotunda, West Florida, and Mary (Kenneth) Tormala of Obenhoff; her in-laws, Lorelei Niemi, Jean Makkonen, May Forsman, Barbara Forsman; and by many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation to Kathy's private caregivers, the many caregivers from UPCAP, Portage Home Services, Portage Hospice and the Omega House.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 16, 2014, in the Range Apostolic Lutheran Church, 11 Whealkate Ave., South Range, with Reverend Ernest Bylkas III to officiate.
Visitation will be in the church from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, and from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Friday in the church. Burial will be in the Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Range Apostolic Lutheran Church, the Omega House or to the charity of one's choice in memory of Kathy Forsman.
Arrangements are being handled by the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home of Hancock, Antila Funeral Service, Inc.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at antilafuneral.com.