Lawrence Linna, 85, passed away Friday, April 26, 2013, at the Azura Memory Care Facility in Green Bay, where he was lovingly cared for during the last 3 1/2 years. He was born March 9, 1928, in Ishpeming, Mich., to Nick and Hilja Linna.
Lawrence spent his early years in Upper Michigan, attending North Lake School and Ishpeming High School. He served in the Korean War
, maintaining water points for the troops. He was a miner at the Mather B mine, and drove truck for Ameen Transfer Line and Olson Transportation. On June 20, 1953, he married Blanche Ann La Rue of Marquette, and they had one daughter, Ann Marie.
After suffering some health problems, Lawrence decided to go back to school at the age of 36, an uncommon decision at the time; his academic peers called him "grandfather." He graduated with high honors from Northern Michigan University , and later earned a Masters in Education. Lawrence taught fifth graders at Gwinn Area Schools, where he introduced problem solving skills to countless children and used creative learning ideas to supplement traditional teaching techniques. He also built some of the playground equipment at the school.
In Gwinn, he was a founding member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and served as Secretary to the Upper Peninsula Particular Council.
Lawrence retired from teaching in 1988 and moved with his wife to Green Bay to be close to their daughter. In Green Bay, he continued his association with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, volunteering at the carpenter shop. He filled his time with service to others, creating the "base" for art projects together with his daughter for Encompass Childcare, YWCA, building creative chairs for local schools, and other projects at the Brown County Library, and Heritage Hill. They signed their work as "delwiche & dad."
He loved children, his elementary school students, his immediate nieces and nephews and their children of the next generation. He had learned woodworking skills from his father-in-law, Art La Rue, and passed those skills on to his son-in-law, Joseph. He made rocking chairs for the children in his life. He loved words and reading and explored the world through books. He enjoyed fishing at one of his favorite spots at the U.P.'s Dead River.
He adored his wife, and frequently left Blanche Ann an unexpected rose on the table to express his devotion. At all stages of his daughters life, he encouraged Ann Marie by showing his love and pride in all she did. Even while living with dementia he made new friends while at Azura Memory Care.
Lawrence is survived by his wife, Blanche Ann; his daughter, Ann (Joseph) Delwiche; two brothers, Carl (Shirley), Marquette; and Eino, Negaunee; two sisters, Nancy (Wilmon) Sheppard, Newberry, Fla.; and Ellen Jamison, Centreville, VA.; a sister-in-law, Romana (James) Jorgensen; numerous nieces and nephews and two honorary "grandchildren," Jami and Tanya Gegare.
Lawrence was preceded in death by his parents, Nick and Hilja Linna; an older sister, Gertrude (Clarence) Penrose; a sister-in-law, Myrna Linna; and a brother-in-law, Ozie Jamison.
The family wishes to thank the attentive staff at Azura Memory Care in Green Bay.
Friends may call at the Bishop's Room located at St. Peter Cathedral, Marquette, on Thursday, May 2, from 11 a.m. until noon. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon with Rev. Msgr. Michael Steber as celebrant. Graveside services will be held at a later date in the Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Gwinn, MI, 111 N Pine St., Gwinn, MI 49841
The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed at fassbenderfuneralhome.com