Mary P. Thayer

June 6, 2020


Houghton: Mary P. Thayer, 72, residing at the Bluffs in Houghton, passed away at her home on Saturday, June 6, 2020.
      She was born on March 12, 1948 in Hancock to the late Leonard and Elmi (Wayrynen) Jukkala. She attended the John A. Dollee School in Tapiola, later graduating from Houghton High School with the class of 1966. Mary held several secretarial positions, including jobs with Republic Coal and Coke Comapny in Chicago, Illinois, and Michigan Technological University's Facilities Department.
     Mary was united in marriage to Duane Thayer on April 4, 1987. He preceded her in death on October 16, 2015.
     Mary enjoyed the trips she and the love of her life, Duane, made to Australia and Hawaii, where they explored shops, pubs, restaurants, gardens, and museums. She liked feeding and watching birds and fussing with her plants and flowers when her health allowed. She cherished the visits, calls, and cards from her siblings, step-daughters and their families, niece Carol, and friends. Mary often reminisced about the good times she had with “the girls” when they got together for lunch or a glass or two of wine and cheesecake. And who could forget the pajama parties with mom and sisters at the farm. Mary was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Cubs, and Dick Storm's Eagle Country Hall of Fame (oldies radio).
     She is survived by her siblings William Phillips of Tapiola; Helen (Corby) Laux of Alston; Eunice (Ron) Prymek of Stevens Point, Wisconsin; Dave (Sandy) Jukkala of South Range; Paul (Sharon) Jukkala of Houghton; Ron Jukkala of Houghton; and Linda (Joe) Watson of Dollar Bay. She is also survived by her 5 step-daughters and their families: Cecile and Chris Cloutier of Minneapolis; Martha and Jon Thompson and their children Anna and Eric of Seattle; Mary and Dorrence Hoffman and their son Jehiel of Republic, Missouri; Terese and Mike Hunwick and their children Cason, Jacob, and Ava of Keller, Texas and Elizabeth Mikesch of Holyoke, Massachusetts; and Susan and Dan Liebau of Houghton. Also surviving are numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and many life-long friends.
     Per Mary's request, there is no visitation and cremation has taken place. Burial will be in the Elo Cemetery where a private graveside service will be held.
     In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Omega House in Mary's name.
     The family would like to thank the following for the care and compassion they provided to Mary: Dr. Bruce Trusock and his staff; Portage Hospice volunteers, employees, and nurses, especially Carel; all of the employees, aides, and nurses of the Bluffs and the Omega House; and Mark Dennis of the O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home.
     Please remember Mary for her mischievousness, great sense of humor, big heart, generosity, beautiful blue eyes, and smile. And, she is now reunited with Duane in Heaven. 
     The O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home in Hancock is in charge of her arrangements. Please go to to leave online condolences.

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