Lillian Martha Anttila, age 93, of Limestone, died late Monday morning, January 29, 2018 at the Tendercare Health Center in Munising. She was born on May 8, 1924 in Gwinn, Michigan, one of eight children to Finnish immigrants Isaac and Kustava (Hakkola) Laakso. Lillian grew up on the family farm in Eben. She helped on the farm and assisted her father with the English and Finnish language barrier on dairy and meat deliveries. Lillian graduated from Eben High School in 1942. After school, she moved to Detroit and worked in a bakery. To the surprise of her parents, Lillian hopped on the train from Detroit to Long Beach, California to meet up with and marry her U.S. Army Air Corps serviceman, Harold Anttila. Lillian and Harold were married in Long Beach on February 6, 1943. They remained in California where Harold was stationed until after WWII and they moved back home to Eben. They raised their four children in Limestone where they owned and operated Anttila’s Grocery Store and the Limestone Post Office out of their home. Between Harold’s working for the Alger County Road Commission, Lillian running the post office, and raising their family, they decided to close the store. Lillian continued as Postmaster for over thirty years. Lillian enjoyed walking, riding bikes, playing cards, and bowling on a league with her friends. She was a member of the Eben Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church, the Home Extension Club, and the V.F.W. Ladies Auxiliary where she was active with various activities. Lillian and Harold enjoyed taking picnics as a family and travelling together to visit family members. They were married over seventy years when Harold preceded her in death on August 5, 2013.
Lillian is survived by her four children – Cheryl Maki of Limestone, MI, Gary Anttila of Pembine, WI, Rhonda (Allen) Bossom of Eben Junction, MI, and Janice (William) Chasteen of Gillette, WY; eight grandchildren – Amy (Gary) Artley, John (Angela) Maki, Sara Nicholls (Mark Armstrong), Jeffrey Bossom, Shelley Bossom (Fred Rye), John C. (Rochelle) Anttila, William Chasteen (Karissa Morris), and Robert Chasteen (Amber Worthington); nine great-grandchildren – Hunter, Lacey A., Kaden, Lacey K., Logan, Hadley, Dakota, Colter, and Talon; one great-great grandchild on the way; and many special nephews and nieces. Lillian was preceded in death by her parents, husband Harold, grandson Adam Maki, sister Velma Smith, brothers Art, Arvo, Ferdinand, Tauno, George, and Leslie Laakso, and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Services will be held on Friday, February 2, 2018 at the Sion Lutheran Church in Chatham. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Pastor Paul Kelto will conduct Lillian’s funeral service at 2:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Chatham in the spring.