Guillaume André Vertanen | News, Sports, Jobs
BARAGA, MI – Our beloved William Andrew Vertanen left this world on Sunday October 3, 2021, he was 74 years old.
Billy was born to William and Louise Vertanen of Keweenaw Bay on April 16, 1947. He was raised on the family farm on the shores of Lake Superior. He attended Keweenaw Bay Elementary School and then graduated from Baraga High School in 1965. Growing up, his father, Bill, and his uncle, Leon, taught him how to hunt, fish and trap. hobby, which he has enjoyed all his life.
Bill would meet his future wife, Vicky Manning, at a local gas station. They noticed each other when they were walking with friends. The drivers of each car knew each other and drove to the gas station to chat. They were married on May 20, 1972 at the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of L’Anse Ml. They started their married life in Baraga in a small apartment, until they built their house in Keweenaw Bay. They have been married for 49 years.
Bill had always been a hard worker and a good provider to his family. He started working at Pettibone when he was in high school. When the state prison opened in Baraga, he returned to school to become a correctional officer, from where he later retired. He spent 35 years in the National Guard, Company A, 107th Engineer Battalion, where he was proud to serve his country. He was active for 55 years in the Keweenaw Bay Volunteer Fire Department. During this time he served as secretary and treasurer.
He was always ready to help others. He served his family and always went above and beyond for us. He showed up for big and small events. Birthdays and graduation ceremonies to baby showers for her granddaughter’s new doll. Every time one of his daughters moved: he was there, car problems: he was there, needed a few more dollars: he was there, wanted to drop out of college: he was there “Encouraging me not to give up, so I kept going and now I have a job that I love, because it was there.”
He was a quiet guy, but he was always quick with a single line or an inappropriate joke. I can’t even tell you how many times I heard my mother say “Billy, don’t say words like that in front of the girls!” He would laugh.
He was mischievous, always making us laugh. He bought a new pair of shoes, he kept the tags, it drove Vicky crazy, but he did it anyway, even going so far as to hide his shoes at night, so she couldn’t cut the shoes. labels while sleeping. He always did things like that. We will miss it about it.
Bill loved finding treasures and spent many years scouring the area for things to buy and then resell at his garage sales. He had a sale every summer and spent hours meeting new people and sharing stories about the items he found. He was a past master in the art of filling his little car with his treasures to take home. You may have seen it rolling around with a cabinet attached to its roof or a 5-piece dining set sticking out of its trunk, held in place with string. He was a simple man and was not interested in fancy things like a truck, his car worked great for moving large objects.
He loved to feed the birds and watch the hummingbird feeder in the backyard. He went into town every evening to pick up the local newspaper. He liked to do sudoku puzzles. For many years he built nesting boxes from driftwood he collected along the shores of Lake Superior. In winter, it made beautiful cedar wreaths. He liked being at home and didn’t travel much. He liked to stay busy and active.
He loved his daughters, Vicky and his daughters, Kim and Julie. He was the only guy in our family until Henry came in and married his daughter, Kim. He also loved his only grandchild, his granddaughter, Quincy or “Blueberry”, as they would affectionately call each other.
Bill is survived by his wife, Vicky de Baraga, two daughters, Kim (Henry) Schwanke and Julie Vertanen both of Marquette, his granddaughter, Quincy Schwanke of Marquette, two sisters, Gail (Norm Tikkanen) Hakola of L ‘ Anse and Julie (Kurt) Kuure of Houghton, his sister and brothers-in-law, Mark and Linnea Manning, Jim and Rosie Manning, Polly Manning, Bob Manning, John Manning (Julie Kolaas), Mary Dee Shanahan and Katy (Joe) Schutte , cousins, Len (Anne) Buckman and MaryEllyn Henriksen, as well as several nieces and nephews, family and friends, her childhood friend, Bob Jarvi.
Those who preceded him in death are his parents, William and Louise Vertanen and his sister, Patsy Vertanen, his mother and stepfather, Herb and Mary Faith Manning, his brothers-in-law, Joseph Manning and Tim Shanahan, sister -the in-laws, Kathy Manning, her grandson, whom we lost early in the pregnancy, Andrew Schwanke.
Visitations will be on Monday, October 11, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Jacobson Funeral Home. Military rites will take place at Baraga Cemetery at 12:30 pm, under the direction of American Legion Post 444. Lunch will follow at the Keweenaw Bay Fire Hall.
“To-Da-Loo, we love you, daddy!”
Friends can sign Bill’s guestbook or send condolences to www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com.