Hancock: Helen Elaine Salani, 87, a longtime resident of Hancock, passed away peacefully at her home early on Saturday morning, March 14, 2020.
She was born on February 12, 1933 in Toivola, a daughter of the late Albin and Wilhelmina (Wuorinen) Maki. She was a 1951 graduate of Painesdale High School and later attended St. Joseph School of Nursing. Besides being a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and homemaker, she had a long career as a nurse’s aid in the maternity area at the former St. Joseph Hospital in Hancock until her retirement.
On November 26, 1955, she was married to Robert “Bob” Salani. He preceded her in death on September 16, 1992.
Helen was a member of the Church of the Resurrection in Hancock where she sang in the church choir. She was a former member of the Alfred Erickson Post #186 American Legion Auxiliary of Hancock. She loved bowling, even into her later years. She also liked golf, walking, casino bus trips, having lunch with friends, and dancing to polka music. She was a fan of the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Tigers. She enjoyed the outdoors, especially being with family and friends.
Besides her parents and husband, she was also preceded in death by her grandchildren Madison and Tony, sisters Mildred and Shirley, and brothers Raymond, Robert, and infant brother Gerald.
She is survived by her children: Teri Seibert of Bootjack, Steven (Gayla) Salani of Marquette, Brian (Mary) Salani of Kenosha, Wisc., Gerald Salani of Edwards, Colo., and Julie (Robert) Fust of Bootjack; her loving companion of over 23 years, Don Kolehmainen; grandchildren: Peter, Anna, Lizzie, Laura, Maria, Sophia, Michael, Dana, Robert, Hunter, Boden, and Katie; sisters Nancy Stemberger and Lorraine Widmark; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and beloved in-laws.
She was well loved by her family and many friends because of her upbeat and pleasant personality. Helen will be dearly missed.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at the Church of the Resurrection for family members only due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Reverend Father William Ssozi will officiate. Future interment services will be at Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock, when a memorial service of Helen’s life, with her family and many friends, will be celebrated and announced from the O’Neill-Dennis Funeral Home of Hancock. There will be no visitation at this time.
Memorials in lieu of other expressions of sympathy may be directed to the Hancock High School Athletic Booster Club or to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
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