Florence M Maki, age 91, of Saginaw, MI was welcomed into the arms of Jesus at her home on October 22nd in the loving care of her family.
Florence was born on March 15, 1929 in Eben Junction, MI, to the late Nick and Maria Hautamaki. She graduated from Eben High School in 1946. After high school, Florence attended Suomi College in Hancock, Michigan and then began nurses training at Augustana School of Nursing in Chicago, IL. In 1950 she married Rev. Wilho Elson, and soon after they traveled to Japan to begin mission work with the Suomi Synod Lutheran Church. Wilho died unexpectedly in Japan in September 1955. Florence then returned to her home in Eben Junction with her three young children Wayne, Rebecca and Naomi.
Florence completed her nurses training and graduated in 1957. She worked as a nurse in Munising and then in Marquette, MI where she met and later married Howard Maki in August 1963. Florence and Howard had two children: Philip and Melinda. They lived in Marquette until 1966 and then moved to Iron Mountain, MI. Florence continued her nursing career there until she retired in 1999. In 2001 they relocated to Florence’s family homestead/farm in Eben Junction, Michigan. After Howard’s death in 2013, Florence later moved to Saginaw, MI to be near her daughter Rebecca.
Florence was committed to serving her Lord and Savior through various church ministries including teaching Sunday School, serving as a Bible Camp nurse, singing in the choir and visiting shut-ins. She actively supported church mission work and valued Christian fellowship in Bible studies, women’s retreats, and prayer groups.
Florence and Howard liked traveling during their retirement, visiting friends and family all around the US and world, including Africa, Japan and Finland. They also enjoyed their Finnish heritage, participating in numerous Finnish cultural events. At nearly 70 years old Florence learned to use computer technology to communicate with her children who all lived a great distance away including Africa.
Florence was selfless in her dedication to her family and extended family. She loved family gatherings and reunions. Her caring and compassion were attributes that ultimately made her a Mom to everyone. In addition, Florence was a devoted sister, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was a blessing to all who knew her and will be dearly missed.
Florence is survived by sisters Irene Swajanen of Eben Jct., MI and Vivian Riddle of Sullivan, MO; children Wayne (Bonnie) Elson of Issaquah, WA, Rebecca (William) Erickson of Saginaw, MI, Naomi (Gary) Greene of Phoenix, AZ, Philip (Dorothy) Maki of Redondo Beach, CA, and Melinda (John) Holtz of Lilongwe, Malawi; grandchildren Tyler of Issaquah,WA, Lydia (Jeff) Hoffman of Spokane, WA, David (Mandy) Erickson of Grand Rapids, MI, Michael and Nathan Erickson of Ann Arbor, MI, Scott Greene of Tucson, AZ, Ben Greene of Tempe, AZ, Emily Greene of Mesa, AZ, Grace Maki of Redondo Beach, CA, Rachel (Christopher) Anderson of St Paul, MN and Heather Holtz of Hartland, WI; great-grandchildren Jassmin, Olivia, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Laina, Milly, Rand, and McKenzie; and numerous nieces and nephews. Florence was preceded in death by eight brothers and one sister.
A visitation will take place from 1 to 2 pm on Sunday, November 1st at the Bowerman Funeral Home in Munising, MI with a funeral service to follow at 2 pm officiated by Pastor Tom Schierkolk. Covid precautions will be observed as directed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Masks will be required, and the funeral home staff will be assisting with social distancing. A graveside service will be held at the Northland Chapel Gardens Cemetery in Negaunee, MI on Monday November 2nd at 11 am. A celebration of life memorial service is tentatively planned for early summer 2021. The funeral service will be recorded and available for viewing through bowermanfuneralhome.net. If someone would like access to the video slide show, please contact one of Florence's children.
Memorial donations may be made in Florence’s memory to World Mission Prayer League at 232 Clifton Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403 (wmpl.org).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Florence M. (Hautamaki - Elson) Maki, please visit our floral store.
World Mission Prayer League
232 Clifton Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55403