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Louise Ann Waisanen, of Escanaba, born in L’anse, MI on September 8, 1944, died in Marquette on June 16, 2021 with family at her side. A life-long educator, she taught social studies in L’anse Creuse early in her career, and retired from Escanaba Public Schools after decades in special education with the hearing impaired. She also taught summer school at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay. She was valedictorian of her L’anse High School class, graduated from Northern Michigan University in Education, and received her Master’s in Special Education from Wayne State University.
Louise was generous, kind, loving, and dedicated. She volunteered without fanfare, serving on the altar society at Bethany Lutheran Church, bringing food for funerals, helping with the dinners, and attended circle meetings. She helped for years making pasties at the Catholic Church and assisting with the community Thanksgiving dinner. Louise spent countless hours traveling and supporting those she loved, and she always did it with a light heart and a pragmatic application of sisu, without thought or concern about her own needs or conveniences.
She loved the company of friends and conversations. Louise traveled, sometimes on a whim, took photographs, camped extensively, and enjoyed a variety of crafts. In her earlier years she went to Japan on a freighter, traveled west camping with her parents, and took a six-week trip to Europe after her first year of teaching in Mount Clemens, MI, where she met a best friend who would become family. In all she found joy in life, and brought it to others.
She is survived by her sister Evelyn Dimkoff and partner Mel; her brother John Waisanen of L’anse and his children, Justin and Carrie; and by her extended family Carole Groves and nephew Brad Groves of Marquette; Harvey and Janet Groves of Howell; and Ed and Edith Kopp of Warren. Her departure leaves a hole in the fabric of our lives.
Louise was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Julia Lahti Waisanen; her brother Ralph; her sister Eva; and her nephew Joe.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Louise will follow at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, in the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Terry Frankenstein officiating. Burial will take place at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in the L’Anse Evergreen Cemetery. Louise would love knowing that any contribution to Bay Cliff (baycliff.org/donatenow) or public broadcasting had been made in her honor.