Edna Miriam Laurila, 95, of 1017 Pine St., Negaunee, passed away late Sunday evening, August 18, 2019 at Teal Lake Senior Living Community in the care of her loving family and UP Home Health and Hospice.
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Edna was born May 2, 1924 in Ishpeming, Michigan. She graduated from Negaunee High School as the Valedictorian, Class of 1942. She earned a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Arts in Education and Education Specialist degrees from Northern Michigan University. Mrs. Laurila was employed as a 3rd grade teacher at Lakeview School in Negaunee for 20 years, retiring in 1989.
Edna was a devout member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Negaunee for 85 years. She served as the Sunday School Superintendent for 19 years and in many other capacities in the church. A member of the the Miriam Circle and quilting group, she made countless quilts for missions and people she loved. She loved to sew, knit and crochet, teaching classes and making sure that the children in her neighborhood had an ample supply of mittens and hats. Edna was also a member of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and logged over 2,000 hours in this community program for 23 years and she was a lifetime member of the VFW Auxiliary.
Teaching was her passion. She was an outstanding elementary and special education teacher and would spend hours tutoring children well into her retirement. On her 95th birthday she received many cards from past students telling her she was the best teacher they ever had.
In deference to other pasty makers reading this, hers were legendary. The recipe has been shared with chefs around the United States and Europe and lives on at the family cabin kitchen at Granite Lake. Besides cooking, she loved arts and crafts and her paintings have always hung in her home and at the cabin. She now has a whole new set of landscapes to paint.
Surviving are her sons: Marvin (Mary) Laurila of Republic and Melvin (Anna) Laurila of Georgetown, Kentucky; her daughter, Linnea (Curt Gillespie) of Westcliffe, Colorado. Edna had 5 grandchildren, Vaughn, Ross, Amy, Valerie and Elizabeth, all who benefited from Grandma’s scholarship fund and her wisdom. She’s also survived by 5 greatgrandchildren and 7 great, greatgrandchildren who lovingly called her mummu and many other monikers simply meaning “we love our grandma”. She will be missed.
Edna was preceded in death by her parents, Sulo and Saima Mannikko; her husband Felix Laurila in June, 1992; and her daughter, Laura Artis in March, 2019.
A Memorial Celebration of Edna’s life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at Immanuel Lutheran Church with Rev. Steven Solberg officiating and the Rev. William Schoonover assisting. Interment will take place in the Negaunee Cemetery. The family will greet relatives and friends for one hour prior at the church on Saturday, Sept. 7th, and also at a luncheon in the fellowship hall immediately following services. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the church kitchen fund can be made in her honor.
Mrs. Laurila’s memorial page may be viewed online at koskeyfuneralhome.com