Anne Marie Sarkela | News, Sports, Jobs


MARQUETTE, MI – Ann Marie Sarkela, 85, a resident of Eastwood Nursing Home, Negaunee and former resident of Negaunee, went to join her Lord Jesus Christ on Friday, July 30, 2021.

Born October 18, 1935 in Ishpeming, daughter of Nestor and Sandra (Makela) Sarkela, Ann grew up in Negaunee. She attended Negaunee Public Schools where she combined classroom studies with participation in sports, including baseball and volleyball. Ann graduated from Negaunee High School in 1953 and enrolled at Northern Normal Teachers College (now NMU) for a time before entering Augustana School of Nursing in Chicago. In 1957, she graduated as a registered nurse. Her nursing career would span over 42 years and her jobs and work experiences were varied. She started her career at Bell Memorial Hospital, Ishpeming, then moved to Bellingham, Washington. She was only there a few months when her father’s death forced her to return to Negaunee. In 1959, she accepted a position at the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle, where she was a nurse for three years. She then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, working at the University of Minnesota Hospital for one year and at Abbott Northwestern Hospital for two years. Ann returned to Negaunee to help take care of her mother and worked at the former St. Luke Hospital (now Marquette General Hospital) from 1964 to 1967, when she accepted a teaching position at the Northern Michigan University, teaching practical nursing. In 1971, Ann returned to Bell Memorial Hospital where she spent the last 28 years of her career, retiring on July 1, 1998. A dedicated professional, Ann continued to nurse after her retirement in the private sector. In December 2007, she moved to Marquette. In her spare time, Ann enjoyed traveling to many parts of the country, taking cruises and making a particularly memorable trip to Finland. She loved sports and was an avid Detroit Tigers and Green Bay Packers fan. Ann also enjoyed floral and market gardening, manual labor, especially knitting, embroidery, and cross stitch. She was a member of Bethel Baptist Church and enjoyed participating in the activities of the church’s senior group, a member of the Elba Morse Retired Nurse’s Association, the Negaunee Historical Society, and the Marquette County Historical Society.

Ann is survived by a sister-in-law, Marie Sarkela of Marquette; nieces, Sandra (Patrick Mazzeo) Sarkela of Pompano Beach, Florida and Margaret (John Curtis) Sarkela of New York, NY; nephews, Allan (Marguerite) Koski of Negaunee, John (Mary) Koski of Sturgeon Bay, WI, and John Sarkela of Marquette; several great-nieces and grand-nephews.

In addition to her parents, Ann was predeceased by her sister and brother-in-law, Aili and Eino Koski; and his brother, Wiljo Sarkela.

Friends can call Bethel Baptist Church on Friday August 6, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The funeral will be at the church on Friday at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Hank Steede and Pastor Brian Oberg officiating. A reception will follow in the parish hall. Interment will take place in the Negaunee cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Bethel Baptist Church, the WHWL Christian radio station, or a charity chosen by the donor.

Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services serve the family. Condolences can be expressed online at

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