Eleanor M. (Niemi) Olson,
June 9, 1921 — Sept. 27, 2016
Eleanor Marie Niemi Olson, 95, of Marquette, Mich., passed away on Sept. 27, 2016, at Eastwood Nursing Center. Eleanor “GG” was born June 9, 1921, in Ironwood, Mich., daughter of Laimi Jokipii and Lauri Niemi, who emigrated from Finland. After raising four children in Cedarburg, she moved to Marquette at age 55 to pursue a degree in social work at NMU. She also became a licensed LPN to provide home nursing for the elderly for 17 years.
Eleanor was an active member of First United Methodist Church in Marquette, Church Choir, United Methodist Women’s group, World Service Guild and the Tricades. Her passion for music started in elementary school and she was finally able to follow her dream of studying music in high school and again in college with an A capella Choir. She was self-taught in her music appreciation and sang in the church choir for over 50 years. At every opportunity, she attended the symphony and was an avid supporter of National Public Radio. Eleanor was also a gardener, a reader, a birder and loved attending Finn Fests around the world, with an interest in her Finnish heritage and the Finnish language.
Eleanor never applied for her driver’s license, owned a car, a microwave or a television. Many family visitors were found gathered at the dining room table playing competitive Scrabble, baking in the kitchen and taking nature walks to the beach and around Presque Isle Park with her local and life-long friends. Her love of baking is well-known, including her cardamom bread, saffron buns and Hot Cross Buns. She is survived by her daughter Laura Stelly and husband Tim, Beaumont Texas; son, Paul Olson, Cedarburg; son Phil Olson and wife Karen, Ashland; granddaughter Rebecca Schulz and husband Mike; two great-granddaughters, Ashley and Lainie, Houston; and granddaughter Deborah Stelly, Houston. She is predeceased by Laura and Lloyd, her sister and brother, who both died at a young age; her ex-husband Floyd Olson; son Glenn Olson; and granddaughter Jennifer Stelly. A memorial celebration service will be held at First United Methodist Church, Marquette, Sunday, Oct. 23, at 4:30 p.m., located at 111 E. Ridge St., Marquette, MI 49855. A reception will immediately follow. She will be laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood, Mich., next to her mother, sister and brother and son.
Memorial donations may be given to First United Methodist Church or National Public Radio 90 (WNMUFM), 1401 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette, MI 49855.
The family wishes to thank the dedicated caregivers at Eastwood Nursing Center, UP Home Health & Hospice and her visitors from FUMC over the years.
Arrangements under the direction of the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home.
Please visit www.swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com to express your condolences to the family.