HANCOCK - Betty Marcella Korby-Winnen, 86, a resident of Hancock and formerly of Calumet, passed away Monday morning, Oct. 8, 2012.
She resided at the Winona House of PortagePointe where she had been an Elder for almost two years and had been in their loving care. The aides and nurses that cared for her at PortagePointe were "angels" who walk this earth.
She was born in Ahmeek, a daughter of the late Matthew and Esther (Waati) Anderson (Finnish and Norwegian immigrants). Betty grew up in Laurium and attended the Calumet Public Schools.
From an early age, Betty had a love for singing music and her relationship with the Lord. She often sang on the radio to the tunes of Kitty Wells and spiritual hymns. Her voice was so lovely that at the age of 12, she won first place in a prestigious talent contest, winning prizes from all of the stores in Calumet and Laurium for her entire family. The prizes that she won in these singing competitions helped to bring her family clothing and food during the depression era.
In 1943, she was united in marriage to Melvin Arthur Korby of Allouez and together, over a period of 35 wonderful years, they were blessed with four children. In the late 1940s, the family moved to Warren, Mich. for work in the automotive industry. Melvin preceded Betty in death in 1978.
In 1996, Betty returned "home" to the Copper Country and was united in marriage to Russell Winnen. Betty and Russell shared nine happy years together. Russell preceded Betty in death in 2005.
While residing in Warren, Betty began a career of floral design. Designing floral arrangements for weddings and other special occasions became her artwork and true passion. Betty was very proud that her wreaths and designs were chosen to help decorate Hudson's Department Store in Detroit. She was also employed by the State of Michigan for the Warren Consolidated Schools for many years.
Betty was a great role model in everything she did in her life. She loved people and was a true caregiver. She dedicated her life to taking care of her husband and family, her ailing brothers and many friends during and at the end of their lives.
She loved to spend time visiting with her family and friends and the coffeepot was never empty to welcome those who entered her home. Her dedication to her family was so strong that she retired early from the school system to take care of her grandchildren.
Betty enjoyed dancing every Sunday at the White House in Mohawk and various other locations throughout the Copper Country. Her favorite song was "Storms Never Last" by Waylon Jennings and Jessie Colter. Each Sunday, they would dedicate the song to Betty at the White House. She always said the song talked about the storms we go through in this life and how if we hold each other close and love one another through it, the sun will shine through. She always held her arms and heart open to a friend in need.
Preceding her in death were her husband; her infant son, Roger; her parents; her sister, Geraldine Noopa; and her brothers, Gerald and Raymond.
Surviving are her children: Terry (Janet) Korby of Hancock, Dennis (Rita) Korby of Laurium and Brenda (Richard) Parker of Hancock; grandchildren: Terry, Jr., Charmaine (Al), Kimberly (Phillip), Nichole (Dallas), April (John), Tim (Kalyssa), Hannah (Ray) and R.J.; great-grandchildren: Emily, Leigha, Lucas, Sophia, Jeffrey, Michael, Christopher, Taylor, Julia, Emma, Noah and Aryan.
In addition, Betty had numerous step-children, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Betty is and always will be the heart of our family. She would want everyone to know that she died trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and He was with her by her side.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 in the First Baptist Church in Calumet on Depot St. with Pastor Joel Evilsizer officiating. Friends may call on Friday, Oct. 12 from 2 p.m. until time of services in the church.
To view Betty's obituary or to send condolences to the family, please visit memorialchapel.net.
Memorial Chapel in Hancock has assisted the family.