VENICE, Florida - Our beloved mother, Hilkka Annikki Juntunen, 85, of Venice, Florida and formerly of Suomussalmi, Finland, Hancock, Marquette, Lake Worth, Florida and The Bluffs Senior Community of Houghton passed away on January 13, 2014.
She was born in Suomussalmi, Finland February 23, 1928 to Helmer Karl Juntunen and Matilda Emelia (Kyllonen) Juntunen.
She and her husband, Johannes, wanted to find a better life for themselves and family, so they immigrated to the United States in 1958. Through their persistent drive, Sisu and work ethic they became very successful entrepreneurs. They began the Finlandia Bakery & Restaurant's in Hancock & Marquette, the Suomi Bakery & Restaurant in Houghton and John's Bakery in Lake Worth, Florida. They also owned the Kaleva Cafe in Hancock. Hilkka was a veteran of the 'Winter War', and learned her baking and cooking skills as a lumber camp cook in Finland. She began her cooking career in the United States as a cook for Suomi College in the fall of 1961.
Hilkka was a beautiful person, a very loving, patient and caring wife, mother and grandmother. She tirelessly gave her family and friends her time, her love and the most delightful home cooked meals and bakery imaginable. We were privileged to have shared our lives with "Mummu."
She is survived by her children, Tuula (Stan) Pakula of Venice Florida; Marja (Richard) Salani, of Hancock, Sirkku-Liisa (Gary) Niemela of Marquette, Leo (Claudette) Juntunen of Spartanburg, South Carolina and Lea (Rick) LaRocque of Venice, Florida. She also leaves behind 14 grandchildren, Shana Bickel, Jason, Christopher (Melissa), Eric-Jon (Amy) Salani, Stephanie, Josh (Sara), Lara & Luke (Jenny) Niemela, Layla, Calvin-Johannes, Haleigh Juntunen, Niki Lee, Alena Spencer & Dana LaRocque. There are also 13 great grandchildren; and her brother, George (Anna-Maria) in Sweden; sister-in-law, Eila Juntunen; along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews in Finland.
She was preceded in death by husband, Johannes; daughter, Mirva; and parents, three brothers and two sisters in Finland.
A memorial service will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock, on July 1, 2014 at 11 a.m. with Pastor D.J. Rasner officiating.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. The family invites all attending to a fellowship and luncheon following the service.
Burial will take place in the Lakeside Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 1000 W. Quincy St., Hancock, MI 49930 or to a charity of your choice.