Ruth Maki

IRON MOUNTAIN – Ruth Alice Maki, 77, of Iron Mountain, passed away peacefully and unexpectedly on Sunday, May 18, 2014, at her home.

She was born on June 23, 1936, in Ishpeming, daughter of the late Arnold and Sallie Palomaki. Ruth graduated from Ishpeming High School, class of 1954. She married Rudy Maki on Feb. 18, 1956. While raising a family, Ruth completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and her master’s degree from Northern Michigan University. She enjoyed teaching for the Breitung Township School District where she taught at various schools, completing her 25-year career at Woodland Elementary School.

Ruth was a very active person and always on the go, whether it was walking, biking, cross country skiing, aerobics, or going to the gym. One of her favorite pastimes was walking her dachshunds, Dacher or Penny. She was involved in her church circle and Bible study groups. She enjoyed attending Raja Ryhma events and was proud of her Finnish heritage. As a member of the Saintly Stitchers’ Quilt Guild, she was busy with quilting projects that were either showcased in her home or became gifts for family members.

She loved spending time with family and friends at camp on Grant Lake in Republic and could often be found lighting the sauna and going for a swim afterwards. She could also be seen paddling her boat around the lake, enjoying a warm summer night and the beautiful scenery.

At home she shared the cooking and baking duties with her husband; he was the cook and she was in charge of the baked goods. Some family favorites included Cardamom Bread (Coffee Bread), Danish Pastry, Sticky Buns, Swedish Rye Bread, and her famous chocolate peanut butter bars, which were a yearly request for ski tournaments. Evenings and Sundays were often spent watching the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions with her husband.

Ruth was preceded in death by her eldest son, Bradley Maki, and youngest sister, Sally Paine.

Ruth is survived by her husband of 58 years, Rudy Maki; one daughter, Melanie (James) Olson; two sons, Chris (Melanie) Maki and Rodney Maki, all from the Iron Mountain area; two grandsons, Dr. Brandon (Alyssa) Maki, and Korey (Amy) Maki; one granddaughter, Elina Maki; and one great-granddaughter, Halle Kate Maki. She is also survived by her twin sister, Ellen (Toivo) Holmi of Hales Corners, Wis.

Visitation will be on Thursday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Iron Mountain.

Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. at the church. Rev. Lori Liverance will officiate.

Burial will be in Cemetery Park in Iron Mountain.

Pallbearers include Willie Erickson, Dr. Paul Jacobs, Dr. Brandon Maki, Korey Maki, Errol Moffatt and Peter Paine.

You may light a candle in remembrance of Ruth or leave a condolence to her family online at

The family has chosen the Jacobs Funeral Home of Iron Mountain to honor Ruth’s legacy of life.