Barbara Jean ‘Barbie’ Hataaja

CALUMET – Barbara Jean (Barbie) Haataja, 78, of Centennial Heights, Calumet, passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

She was born on September 24, 1940, the daughter of Uno and Elsie (Lindquist) Laplander.

Barbie was united in marriage to Bruce E. Haataja in 1959, and they raised four children. She then went to work for the Portage Health System and Houghton County Medical Care Facility for many years as a CNA.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Bruce; her son, David; sister, Elaine Dines of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and brothers, Leslie Laplander of Kearsarge, and Paul Laplander of Lake Linden.

Surviving are her brother, Donny Laplander of Laurium; daughters, Bonnie Hobmeier of Centennial Heights, and Dona Haataja of Milwaukee; son, John Haataja of Virginia; her grandchildren, Jesse Butkovich, Brandon Butkovich, Jacob (Jamie) Haataja, Lillianne Haataja, Hannah Haataja, Emmaliine Haataja, Elaina Hobmeier, and Vaughn (Sierra) Haataja; her great grandchildren, Lincoln Haataja, Harper Haataja, and Garron Hobmeier; her Aunt Dori and Uncle Kenny from Wisconsin, whom she has always been close; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was a member of First Baptist Church of Calumet throughout her lifetime, and had a strong Christian faith and giving heart. She was there for family and those in need.

In her younger years she enjoyed sewing, making pretty Sunday dresses, and being a hockey mom and grandma. She loved the outdoors, taking her kids camping, picking berries, and making jams and jellies. She made nisu and pasties and the best broiled trout ever! Her courage and sense of adventure remained in her retirement. You should have heard her laugh when the horse she was riding (JT) decided to trot! She also enjoyed Christmas crafting, knitting, and crocheting, making beautiful outfits, mittens, and afghans.

She was a strong woman in her own right- the embodiment of Finnish Sisu, yet gentle in spirit. A lover of animals and people. A matriarch of her family- she was the foundation from which many relied on and grew from for support and guidance and home.

The funeral service for Barbie will be held at the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet, on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 4 p.m. with Pastor Tony Laidlaw and Pastor Bruce Nolen to officiate.

Friends may call at the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet on Saturday, May 18, 2019, from 2 p.m. until the time of the service at 4 p.m.

Online condolences for the family may be left at

The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet is assisting the family with the arrangements.