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Annie Knuttila, age 83, of E7748 M-28, Christmas, died at her home under the care of her family and North Woods Hospice, on Wednesday morning, January 9, 2008. She was born on November 25, 1924 at the Sharron family farm near AuTrain to Polish immigrants Daniel and Catherine (Wobelski) Sharron. Annie attended school in AuTrain and at the age of sixteen, she married Leslie Axel Knuttila. While Leslie served during WWII, Annie moved to the Knuttila family farm on the end of Koski road. It was there where she helped out and learned to speak the Finnish language, as her in-laws were also immigrants and they didn’t understand her speaking English or Polish. When Leslie returned home from the War, they moved to Munising and Annie was a homemaker and raised their children. Annie enjoyed reading newspaper articles to her family every night as they gathered after dinner while the dishes were being done. From 1957 until 1974, she and Leslie owned and operated the Munising Motel. It was in Room 6 where the first State Police Post in Munising was located. It was also there where her immaculate cleanliness and organization skills were obvious to anyone who stayed there (or tried to help her clean the rooms.) Annie also did the bookwork and accounting for the Motel and also for Leslie’s business, Knuttila Forest Products. She also cleaned the offices of the Mazzali’s Insurance Agency and the Munising Credit Union. Annie was a member of the Eden Lutheran Church, T.O.P.S. and Weight Watchers. She thoroughly enjoyed her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Annie also enjoyed embroidering and knitting when she was younger, and she always loved flower gardening and enjoying the outdoors, birds, butterflies, and wildlife. She also liked sitting around the campfire and visiting while her grandkids were camping.
She is survived by her husband of sixty-seven years – Leslie Knuttila of Christmas; four daughters – Sandra (Bob) Sikkila of Reed City, Michigan; twins – Linda Knuttila and Judy Knuttila of Wyoming, Michigan; and Rita (Steve Graves) Mannisto of Christmas; three grandchildren – Tina (Jan Golisek, Jr.) Mannisto and David (Missy) Mannisto all of Christmas, and Mark Sikkila of Kalamazoo; three great-grandchildren – Amanda Leslie (Brian Bonner) Mannisto, Ashley Ann Mannisto, and Austin Charles Mannisto; special niece – Bonnie Rukowski of Harvery; sister-in-law – Dorothy Knuttila of California; and numerous nieces and nephews. Annie was preceded in death by her son – Charles Knuttila in November of 2002; parents; brother – Alfred Sharron; sisters – Margaret Anderson, Jennie Lindquist, Frances Touranjo, and Genevieve Anderson; mother and father-in-law – Olga and Axel Knuttila; and her brother-in-law – Waino Knuttila.
Visitation will be held at the Bowerman Funeral Home on Friday evening from 5:00 until 9:00 p.m. Annie’s funeral service will be held on Saturday , January 12, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at the Bowerman Funeral Chapel with Rev. Rell Spickerman officiating. Interment will be Maple Grove Cemetery in Munising in the spring. Honorary pallbearers will be David Mannisto, Jan Golisek, Jr., Steve Graves, Brian Bonner, Dan Boucher, and Lonnie Perry.
Submitted by Char Livermore