Shirley A. Huhta

CHASSELL – Shirley A. Huhta, 70, a resident of Chassell, passed away Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the Marquette General Hospital following a lengthy illness.

She was born on March 24, 1944, in Arnheim, a daughter of the late John and Edna (Saari) Niemi. Shirley was raised in Askel, Mich., and graduated from the John A. Doelle School with the class of 1962.

Shirley was married to James Justice and Edwin “Sonny” Vinson. She was united in marriage to Rueben Huhta, they were happily married for 22 years before Rueben preceded her in death in November of 2012.

Mrs. Huhta retired after 27 years from the Franklin Square Inn, where she was the housekeeping manager.

Shirley was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church of Chassell. Very much like her mother she opened her home to anyone needing rest. Her cheery morning voice and the smell of breakfast on the stove made waking up something to look forward to. You could tell she had already been up hours before you putting her make up on and getting her house work done. She loved her life with Rueben. They were happily married for more than 22 years. She cared for him daily until he passed away in November of 2012.

She spent every spring in her garden placing each plant in the best spot for maximum turn out. Her green thumb was the envy of many of her neighbors.

They would drive by just to see her flowers and wave to her. Their home was right behind the Catholic Church in Chassell and you could see her and Rueben outside on their patio all summer long, sipping Iced Tea while visiting with friends, family and neighbors.

Her other passion was to cook family meals and bake her much sought after zucchini bread. She enjoyed living in Chassell among the people she had known all her life. With her health declining she had an urgent need to get out and enjoy her remaining time with her family and friends. Taking inventory of her memories and adventures she would smile often at the stories being told around her table and finally her bedside.

Preceding her in death were her parents; and her husband, Rueben Huhta.

Surviving are her children, Gary (Michiyo) Justice of Japan, Keith Justice of Chassell, Tina (Jerry) DeForge of Negaunee; her grandchildren, Sachiyo, Sheena, Gary Jr., Saiji, Jack, Victoria and Leann; her great grandchildren, Leilani, Sky, Lucian, Tiana, Aaliyah, Felicia, Lavon and Manato; her brother and sisters, Michael (Shirley) Niemi of Canton, Mich., Patricia (Wayne) Karvonen of Arnheim, Beverly (John) Tapani of Klingville; her good friend, Eunice (Howard) Sten of the Houghton Canal; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Funeral services for Shirley will be held 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chassell with Rev. DJ Rasner to officiate.

Friends may call on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, from 1 p.m. until time of services at the church. Burial will be in the Chassell Cemetery later this year.

Mom, Grammy, Sister you will be loved, missed and forever cherished in our hearts.

To view Shirley’s obituary or to send condolences to the family please visit

The Memorial Chapel and Plowe Funeral Homes have been assisting the family with the arrangements.