Grace Korhonen, 93, of Negaunee, passed away peacefully in her sleep Friday morning, November 3, 2023 at Eastwood Nursing Center in Negaunee.
Born to Carmello and Rosalie Russo, Grace C. Russo was born January 11, 1930. Her father immigrated from Sicily in 1908 and her mother arrived the following year. As they started their family, Grace became the youngest of nine children and lived her entire life in the family home. As she grew up she attended St. Paul School and graduated in 1947. She continued to be a lifelong and active member of St. Paul Catholic Church. Shortly after she graduated, Grace met her sweetheart, Otto Korhonen, also of Negaunee, and in 1950 they were married at St. Paul. From there, they started their family with three sons of their own. Grace was very proud to raise her family in the same home that she grew up in.
For most of her life, Grace worked in the Russo family grocery business, first with her brothers and then later with her son, John and his wife Jean, who purchased the business in 1992. She was well known in the area for her catering, serving many different local events, taking pride in serving her community for many years.
One of Grace’s top priorities was helping others and being very involved with local organizations. She was a member of the Sons of Italy, Paisano Club, Negaunee Lady Elks, and was a proud member of VFW Post 3165 Auxiliary, receiving her 75-year pin in June of this year which she wore proudly every day. In her spare time, she loved to travel. From ‘bowling trips’ to Iron Mountain and Green Bay, to vacationing in Las Vegas, Hawaii and Arizona, along with many years of traveling to places unknown in their party van.
Grace loved spending time at the family camp on Lake Ruth that her husband and brothers built in 1955. Every year she looked forward to the entire family gathering on the 4th of July, and sharing stories of the past year. She made sure everyone was in attendance. Grace was the true matriarch of the family, and they all knew it. She was proud of not only her sons, but also her two granddaughters. Over the years she loved spending time with them, teaching them new things and going on different adventures. More than anything, Grace believed in having a family with a strong work ethic and respect for others. This is something her sons learned from a young age, and continue to carry with them.
Grace was very happy to be at Eastwood Nursing Center. She loved watching her birds in the window, going to BINGO, listening to musical entertainment, and being cared for by their wonderful and loving staff.
Surviving are her three sons: Michael (Ann) Korhonen of Negaunee, John (Jean) Korhonen of Ishpeming, and Francis (Patti) Korhonen of Negaunee; two granddaughters, Michelle (Jesse) Renfors of Marquette, and Jonelle (Chris) Thompson of Negaunee; four great-grandsons: Owen and Alex Renfors of Marquette, and Otto and Tanner Thompson of Negaunee; and many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Otto; sisters: Santa, Carmen, and Mary (Richard) Storti; her brothers: Carmello (Jeanette), Peter (Mary), Francis (Domenica), Antonio (Shirley), and Calagero (Betty) Russo.
The Korhonen family would like to extend a sincere thank you to Father Larry Van Damme of St. Paul Catholic Church, Dr. Catherine Kroll, and the entire staff at Eastwood Nursing Center for their many years of compassionate care of Grace. Your kindness will never be forgotten.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00 Noon on July 3, 2024 at St. Paul Catholic Church, Negaunee, with Rev. Larry Van Damme officiating. Entombment will take place in Northland Chapel Gardens. The family will greet family and friends from 10:00 AM until the start of Mass at Noon at the church, and also at a luncheon immediately following services in the St. Paul school gymnasium.
Mrs. Korhonen’s memorial page may be viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com