Betty J. (Maki) Rajala

ISHPEMING, Mich. – Betty J. (Maki) Rajala, age 89, of 200 Saginaw St., Ishpeming, MI, passed away on Friday, December 14, 2012, at the Marquette County Medical Care Facility where she had resided for the past 6 weeks.

Betty was born October 15, 1923, in National Mine the daughter of the late Arvid and Hilder (Askew) Sjoholm. She grew up in National Mine and was the salutatorian of the Class of 1941 at National Mine High School. Betty married William “Mala” Maki in 1942 and together they resided in Oklahoma and Texas during “Mala’s” service time. They retuned to this area in 1945 and raised their family. Betty attended N.M.U., where she received her nursing (LPN) degree. She then worked as a surgical nurse at the Bell Memorial Hospital, and in Dr. Archie Narotzky’s office in Ishpeming, retiring in 1980 following 20-plus years in nursing.

Following the loss of her first husband in 1978, Betty had remarried Hubert Rajala in 1988 and together they enjoyed traveling with their 5th wheel and then resided in Green Valley, AZ for many years. Hubert passed away in 2009, and Betty again returned to this area in April of 2011.

Betty truly enjoyed being around her family, and will always be remembered as a great caretaker. She enjoyed and was active with her church, both in Arizona and at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Negaunee. Betty also enjoyed Bowling in her younger years.

Survivors include a daughter Connie (William) Norkoli of Aurora, CO, a son Gerry (Betty) Maki of Ironwood, 2 sisters Roberta (Dick) Hebert of Ishpeming and Barbara (Sergio) Dreon of Escanaba, 6 grandchildren Ann (Steve) Lujan, Sara Norkoli, Drew Norkoli, Todd (Kimberly) Maki, Mike (Laura) Maki and Jenny (Sam) Messina, 9 great-grandchildren, 3 stepsons Robert, Herbert and Delbert Rajala, numerous step grandchildren, step great-grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, first husband William “Mala” Maki in 1978, second husband Hubert Rajala in 2009, an infant brother Robert Sjoholm, 2 other brothers Arvid and Ted Sjoholm, and a sister Virginia Maki.

A memorial graveside service will be held at the Negaunee Cemetery at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 14, 2013, with Rev. Tamara Harder to officiate. A luncheon will follow at the Negaunee Elks Club.

Betty’s obituary may also be viewed at bjorkand where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.