Vlasta Marie Hartwell, 94, of Pinewood, died Wednesday, March 9, 2011, peacefully at her family’s home in Pinewood.
A service was held in the family home in Pinewood on March 10, attended by the Rev. Mark Papke-Larson, Sensei Taiju-san, from Sokuji Sangha, Bemidji, and Spiritual Advisor and friend Muckaday-Megwon, Larry Long, Red Lake.
She was honored with songs, psalms, prayers, sutra recitations and honor songs as the family, friends and neighbors kept a four-day fire.
She was born in Brainard, Neb., to immigrant Czech parents who had fled Bohemia and Moravia. Her name means “Beautiful high plains of my birth.”
She spent her childhood in Owosso, Mich., where she was known to love riding her bicycle down the dirt road into thunderstorms.
As a young woman, she attended Detroit Business Institute, where she studied comptometry until meeting and marrying William. They lived most of their married life in Farmington, Mich. In her later years in Bemidji, she was able to enjoy the company of many friends.
She was an active union member of AFCME during her years in Michigan and rallied for working men and women’s rights. She taught her family to help and serve. She read her bible daily. She enjoyed food and found the humor in life.
She leaves behind her daughter, Grace of Polvadera, N.M.; son, William; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years and her daughter, Sharon Ann Hartwell.