Cover photo for Tammy Kaye Pokela's Obituary
1973 Tammy 2022

Tammy Kaye Pokela

January 1, 1973 — May 13, 2022

Wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend to many.  Courageous women in the face of years suffering with hemiplegic migraines and five years of stage four metastatic breast cancer.  Tammy was a warrior in this cancer fight, always hoping for a cure by going through treatment after treatment and donating tissue samples for research knowing that it could lead to saving the life of someone else.

She was born on New Year’s Day in Superior, Wisconsin and was adopted by Deane and Ruth Ann (Vinskoski) Pokela bringing such joy and fulfillment to our family.  Tammy lived in Prentice, Wisconsin for four and half years amongst many aunts and uncles, cousins and small friends her age before moving to Munising, Michigan in 1977 to be by grandparents and more cousins.  She attended elementary, middle and high school in Munising, graduating with the class of 1991. She enjoyed Girl Scouts for 8 years, scout camps, middle school basketball, cheerleading, she was an avid reader and attended many band camps playing the flute.  She practiced the flute for hours on end and took lessons from Dr. Tate at Northern Michigan University.  Tammy became good friends with Elena, an eighteen-year-old exchange student from Spain who lived with the Pokela family for a year while completing her senior year of high school, graduating with the class of 1980. Elena and Tammy kept in touch even though there was an age difference and when Tammy married, Elena came from Spain to celebrate with the Pokela family. Later Jeff and Tammy went to Spain to visit Elena to enjoy her culture.

Tammy attended Northern Michigan University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.  During her time there she met the love of her life, Jeff who was attending Michigan Technological University in Houghton. She had a car so many trips were made to Houghton as he didn’t have one.  Mom and Dad always worried about her driving up there alone, but she knew what she was doing as he is a gem and she wasn’t going to let him get away. They were married in 1998 and moved to Rochester, Michigan and started their family, having two sons, Garrison 19 and Carter 13. This family was the love of her life and her entire world.

Tammy was preceded in death by her Grandparents Marion and Urho Pokela, Tillie and Gene Vinskoski, brother Michael, Mother-in law Sharon Hutting, Aunt Mary Beth (Vinskoski) Richard and Uncle Gene Richard along with many aunts and uncles in Wisconsin and Michigan.

The family would like to thank the Hospice of Michigan team for all the care and compassion provided to Tammy and the family.

We would also like to acknowledge a very dear friend, Robert Michalka for allowing Deane and Ruth Ann to stay next door in his home for almost two years so we could help Tammy and her family.

Tammy has donated her body to the University of Michigan Anatomical Donation Program for advanced anatomy studies and research which supports new advancements in medical science.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in the children’s names for college to Jeff Hutting at 322 Linwood Avenue, Rochester, Michigan 48307

Celebration of Life Service

11:00 am on Saturday, June 11, 2022

Sion Lutheran Church

N5177 Rock River Street, Chatham, Michigan

Visitation with family will be 9-11 am with coffee, Finnish Sweet Breads and Cinnamon Rolls

Following the Celebration of Life service there will be a luncheon served

at the Pictured Rocks Golf Course

E10240 County Road H58, Munising

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Tammy Kaye Pokela, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visiting time with family and friends

Saturday, June 11, 2022

9:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration Of Life Service

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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