Mary J. Wanhala

ELO – Mary J. Wanhala, 80, of Elo, passed away Friday, April 25, 2014, at Portage Health Hospital, Hancock.

She was born in Chicago, Ill., on May 13, 1933, the daughter of the late Albert and Geraldine (Ingebritson) Jette.

Mary graduated from Grant High School in Fox Lake, Ill., in 1951. She married William “Whitey” Wanhala in Woodstock, Ill., on January 10, 1951. Mary and William raised their family of nine children in Spring Grove, Ill., until retiring to their home in Elo. He preceded her in death on February 21, 2001. Mary worked as a teaching assistant for many years in Illinois. She was a member of Mission United Lutheran Church, Pelkie, an avid member of the Otter Lake Sportsman’s Club, Senior Citizen’s Center, (Little Brothers of the Poor), and the Ladies KIT Group in Tapiola. While living in Illinois, Mary was active in the Grant Wrestling Booster Club, and the Grant School Board.

Mrs. Wanhala is survived by her loving children, Linda (Dan) Trey of Vanderbilt, Mich., Jeanne (Monroe) Golliday of York, Neb., Sharon (Richard) Spiess of Okeechobee, Fla., William (Teresa) Wanhala of Pelkie, Susan Golden of Round Lake, Ill., Kevin (Judy) Wanhala of Spring Grove, Ill., Karen (Mark) Michaelson of Tapiola, Debbi (Brain) Wanhala of Johnsburg, Ill., and James (Linda) Wanhala of Richmond, Ill. She was also a loving grandmother, and is survived by 22 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandkids. Her brother Albert (Sue) Jette of Ringwood, Ill., also survive.

Her grandchildren could not have had a better friend and influence. They will hold her wise words of advice and memories close to their hearts. She will be profoundly missed by all who knew her.

Funeral services for Mrs. Wanhala will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 1, 2014, in the Mission United Lutheran Church in Pelkie with Pastor John Autio officiating. Interment will take place in the Elo Cemetery.

The family will greet friends on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in the Reid Funeral Service and Chapel, L’Anse from 6 until 8 p.m. and at the church on Thursday from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral service.

Mrs. Wanhala’s obituary may also be viewed and condolences sent to the family at

The Reid Funeral Service and Chapel, L’Anse has been entrusted with the arrangements.