HANCOCK - Margaret B. Vitton, 89, of Hancock, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at Portage Health with her family by her side.
She was born Dec. 31, 1923, in Laurium, a daughter of Russell and Melvina (Berner) Brown. She was a graduate of Calumet High School, Class of 1942.
Following high school, she enrolled in St. Joseph Hospital's School of Nursing and graduated with her nursing diploma as a Registered Nurse in 1945.
Marge married Charles Vitton on Nov. 17, 1945. They had six children together and were married 62 years. While raising their family in the Mesnard Location with great friends and neighbors, Marge was active in 4-H and served as a Cub Scout Den Mother. Charlie preceded her in death on July 25, 2007.
Marge embraced her nursing career with an enthusiasm she never lost, beginning with her first job after graduating at the Trimountain Hospital before moving to St. Joseph's Hospital in Hancock where she worked for over 29 years.
She loved working nights in the emergency room and obstetrics department and always said she "never minded going to work." Marge retired in 1985, but never lost her passion for nursing, volunteering to take blood pressures at Lakeview Manor and other places, always being keen to discuss new advances in health care.
After their retirement, Marge and Charlie spent their winters in Bradenton, Fla., allowing them to be near their two daughters who lived in the area. When at home in Hancock, Marge enjoyed going to painting classes at Lori Sleeman's on Thursdays, crocheting, cross-stitching, embroidering and reading. Many of her beautiful oil paintings grace the walls of her children's and grandchildren's homes and will now be treasured keepsakes of Marge's love.
Spending time at their camp in Twin Lakes was another of Marge's favorite activities.
Recently, Marge was privileged to share her home with her only sister, Beverly "Jean" Simonson, who had spent most of her life in the Chicago area. It was a great comfort to her family to have Aunt Jean living with Marge and seeing the two of them together was a delight. They enjoyed a number of months going places together as well as quiet companionship at home.
Marge was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Charlie; her daughter, Beverly Burke.
She is survived by sons, Dennis (Brigid) Vitton of Palmetto, Fla., Charles (Carol) Vitton of Ironwood, Stanley (Lou Ann) Vitton of Hancock and Donald (Mary Jo) Vitton of Kingsford; daughter, Linda (Al) Mulvery of Bradenton, Fla.; her son-in-law, James Burke of Punta Gorda, Fla.; grandchildren, Gerilyn (Geoff) Ahlers, Corie (Kevin) Chamberlain, Emily (Andy) Waisanen, Jeff Vitton, Christopher Vitton, Cassandra Vitton, Robin (Greg) Meneguzzo and Angela Vitton; great-grandchildren, Talia Ahlers, Lucy and Hattie Waisanen; a sister, Beverly Jean Simonson of Hancock; sister-in-law, Lucille Scott of Rosedale, Calif.; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of Marge's life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in SS. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Houghton with Pastor Aaron Gehrke to officiate. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday in the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home in Hancock, or one hour prior to services in the church on Saturday. Spring burial will be in the Lake View Cemetery in Calumet.
The family has chosen to set up a scholarship in memory of Marge to honor her love of nursing and her life-long passion for learning. Memorial donations may be directed to the Portage Health Auxiliary, c/o Human Resources, 500 Campus Drive, Hancock, MI 49930. The scholarship will be awarded to a deserving nursing student selected by Portage Health Auxiliary.
Marge's family wishes to thank the physicians and staff of Portage Health who cared for her during her hospital stay for their kind and compassionate care.
Arrangements are being handled by the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home in Hancock, Antila Funeral Service, Inc. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at antilafuneral.com.