Geraldine “Gerry” Haavisto, age 74, of Chatham and formerly of Eben, died unexpectedly Sunday evening, February 10, 2013 at her apartment in Chatham following a brief illness. She was born on November 25, 1938 in Flint, Michigan to the late Edward and Mildred (Hart) Gravelle. Gerry waitressed at the Brownstone Restaurant before marrying Ronald A. Haavisto on March 10, 1956. They raised their five children and were married fifty-four years when he preceded her in death on March 1, 2010. Gerry earned her high school diploma and graduated with her oldest daughter from Eben High School in 1975. She loved to knit, play Bingo, garden and to be outdoors. Although she enjoyed spending her Saturdays and Sundays listening to the music of Elmer Aho and Carl Pellonpaa’s Suomi Kutsu, Gerry had a soft spot in her heart for Johnny Cash. She enjoyed family gatherings, dancing, baking and being with friends. Gerry wore her heart on her sleeve and opened her home to all.
She is survived by five children – Janice (Mike) Belo of Green Bay, WI, Cheryl (Gerald) Bebo of Menominee, MI, Bonnie (Kevin) Beyer of Menominee, MI, Lori (Tim) LaCasse of Menominee, MI, and Ronald “Sonny” Haavisto of Green Bay, WI; six granddaughters – Danielle, Melissa, Angel, Ashley, Lorelei, and Hailey; grandson – Clayton; three great-granddaughters – Savannah, Sophia, and Nellie; one great-grandson – Nathan; sisters – Gladys Roos of Gwinn and Mary McDowell of Ishpeming; brother-in-law – Arne (Mary) Haavisto of Niagra, WI; special friend – Irene Johnson; and special friend and caregiver – Pam Wirth. Gerry was preceded in death by her parents; husband -Ron; sister - Lena Parks; brother – Charles Rosenthal, Sr.; parents-in-law - Arne and Aune Haavisto, and sister-in-law Phyllis Gibbs.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at the Calvary Free Lutheran Church in Eben from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. Pastor Tom Schierkolk will conduct Gerry’s memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at the church.