HOUGHTON CANAL - Rose Bernice Hillstrom, age 75, passed away Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at her home in Menahga, Minn. after a courageous eight year battle with cancer.
Rose was born March 30, 1938 to Jacob and Fannie (Finnie) Knuuttila in Houghton. She grew up on the Knuuttila family farm near Oskar on the shore of Lake Superior. Rose attended the Redridge country school, and graduated from Houghton High School in 1955 at 17 years old. She moved to Detroit in 1956 and worked as a secretary for Chrysler Corporation. Rose met the love of her life, David Hillstrom, and was married to him in 1958. Together they raised 15 wonderful children. They lived in Detroit until 1973, and then moved to Novi, Mich. where they lived until retirement.
Rose took great joy in raising her children and making sure everyone was always well fed and cared for. The hallmark of Hillstrom home was the open doors, where everyone was always welcome.
Rose passionately enjoyed crocheting countless blankets for her many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She loved tending to her many plants and flowers. The Christmas Cactus plants from her childhood are still in her home today.
Rose loved children, and worked for the Novi school district as a daycare provider for about 10 years. In 2006, Dave and Rose retired and moved to their childhood home area in the "Copper Country." They spent seven years enjoying the beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and hosting visits from their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren along with many friends. They traveled extensively during their retirement years. Due to Rose's illness they settled in northern Minnesota recently to be near family.
She is survived by her husband, David; fifteen children, Kevin (Carol) Hillstrom of Corcoran, Minn., Brian (Patricia) Hillstrom of Greenfield, Minn., Sharon (Ron) Skoog of Menahga, Minn., Linda Hillstrom (Kevin) of Ottawa Hills, Ohio, Peggy (Karlo) Hillukka of Menahga, Minn., Douglas (Beth) Hillstrom of Hanover, Minn., Brent (Kathy) Hillstrom of Buffalo, Minn., Scott (Rachel) Hillstrom of Menahga, Minn., Jane (Nathan) Carlson of Keller, Texas, Mary (Dave) Rigo of Novi, Mich., Aaron (Susie) Hillstrom of Menahga, Minn., Beth (Paul) Huhta of Howell, Mich., Keith (Karen) Hillstrom of Menahga, Minn., Kurt Hillstrom of Menahga, Minn., Carrie (Scott) Haataja of Menahga, Minn.; siblings, Ruth Salo of Hancock, Rachel Heikkinen of South Lyon, Mich., Robert (Lois) Knuuttila of Oskar, Mich., Regina (Dave) Juntti of Big Traverse; many nieces and nephews; 82 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren and a host of friends.
Rose was preceded in death by her parents, Jacob and Fannie Knuuttila; two brothers, Raymond Knuuttila and Reynold Knnuttila; sister-in-law, Laila Knuuttila; brothers-in-law, John Salo and Doug Heikkinen; three grandchildren, Amanda Hillstrom, Lucas, Hillstrom, and Adam Hillstrom; one great-grandchild, Bridget Sorvala.
Rose was an inspiration to her family and all who knew her. She will be missed.
Visitation will be Saturday, September 14, from 5-8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Funeral Service will be Sunday, September 15 at 11 a.m. Visitation from 10 to 11 a.m.
All arrangements will be held in the Laestadian Lutheran Church of Menahga, 25 Juniper Ave. NW, Menahga, MN 56464. Arrangement by Wevley Funeral Home of Sebeka, Minn.
For online condolences, visit wevleyfuneralhome. com.