HANCOCK - Margaret B. Vitton, 89, of Hancock, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at Portage Health in Hancock with her family by her side.
She was born on Dec. 31, 1923, in Laurium, a daughter of Russell and Melvina (Berner) Brown. She was a graduate of Calumet High School, Class of 1942. Following high school, Marge enrolled in St. Joseph Hospital's School of Nursing and graduated with her nursing diploma as a registered nurse in 1945.
Marge married Charles Vitton on Nov. 17, 1945. They had six children together and were married 62 years. While raising their family in the Mesnard Location with great friends and neighbors, Marge was active in 4-H and served as a Cub Scout Den Mother. Charlie preceded her in death on July 25, 2007.
Marge embraced her nursing career with an enthusiasm she never lost beginning with her first job after graduation at the Trimountain Hospital before moving to St. Joseph's Hospital in Hancock, where she worked for more than 29 years. She loved working nights in the emergency room and obstetrics department and always said she "never minded going to work." Marge retired in 1985, but never lost her passion for nursing, volunteering to take blood pressures at Lakeview Manor and other places and always being keen to discuss new advances in health care.
After their retirement, Marge and Charlie spent their winters in Bradenton, Fla., allowing them to be near their two daughters who lived in the area. When at home in Hancock, Marge enjoyed going to painting classes at Lori Sleeman's on Thursday's, crocheting, cross-stitching, embroidering and reading. Many of her beautiful oil paintings grace the walls of her children and grandchildrens' homes and will now be treasured keepsakes of Marge's love. Spending time at their camp in Twin Lakes with the family was another of Marge's favorite activities.
Recently Marge was privileged to share her home with her only sister, Beverly "Jean" Simonson, who had spent most of her life in the Chicago area. It was a great comfort to her family to have Aunt Jean living with Marge, and seeing the two of them together was a delight. They enjoyed a number of months going places together as well as quiet companionship at home.
Marge was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Charlie; and daughter, Beverly Burke.
Marge is survived by sons, Dennis (Brigid) Vitton of Palmetto, Fla., Charles (Carol) Vitton of Ironwood, Stanley (Lou Ann) Vitton of Hancock, and Donald (Mary Jo) Vitton of Kingsford; and daughter, Linda (Al) Mulvey of Bradenton, Fla.
Also surviving are her son-in-law, James Burke of Punta Gorda, Fla.; grandchildren, Gerilyn (Geoff) Ahlers, Corie (Kevin) Chamberlain, Emily (Andy) Waisanen, Jeff Vitton, Christopher Vitton, Cassandra Vitton, Robin (Greg) Meneguzzo, and Angela Vitton; great-grandchildren, Talia Ahlers and Lucy and Hattie Waisanen; sister, Beverly Jean Simonson of Hancock; sister-in-law, Lucille Scott of Rosedale, Calif.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of Marge's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at St. Peter & Paul Lutheran Church in Houghton.
Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday at the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home in Hancock, or one hour prior to services on Saturday at the church.
Spring burial will be in the Lake View Cemetery in Calumet.
The family has chosen to set up a scholarship in memory of Marge to honor her love of nursing and her life-long passion for learning. Memorial donations may be directed to the Portage Health Auxiliary, c/o Portage Health Human Resources, 500 Campus Drive, Hancock, MI 49930. The scholarship will be awarded to a deserving nursing student selected by the Portage Health Auxiliary.
Marge's family wishes to thank the physicians and staff at Portage Health who cared for her during her hospital stay for their kind and compassionate care.
Arrangements are being handled by the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home of Hancock, Antila Funeral Service, Inc. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at the funeral home.