Gladys  Wiitanen

Obituary of Gladys Wiitanen


Gladys M. (David) Wiitanen, 82, a resident of Hancock passed away Thursday evening January 12, 2017, at the Omega House in Houghton following a lengthy illness.

She was born on May 9, 1934, in Misery Bay, MI a daughter of the late Charles and Pearl (Spiegel) Kemppa. Gladys was raised in Hancock, and was a graduate of Hancock High School class of 1952. She then attended the Highland Park General Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1955.

On September 24, 1955, she was united in marriage to Gerald “Jerry” Murtonen. The couple raised five children. The family resided in Commerce Township, Gaylord and South Lyon. Gladys began her nursing career working in Dr. Snedeker's office after which she worked primarily as a Certified Occupational Health Nurse for Ford Motor Company. While living in Gaylord she helped run the family business and taught oil painting classes. She finally retired from nursing in 2005. On November 23, 1998, Jerry preceded Gladys in death. On January 1, 2005, she was united in marriage to David Wiitanen. Since that time the couple have made their home in Hancock.

Gladys had a deep faith in the Lord and was an active church member throughout her life. She currently was a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, where she helped with the Altar Guild and occasionally led bible studies. She enjoyed golfing, oil painting, working crossword puzzles, studying the bible and spending time with her family and many friends. When Gladys made friends, they were friends for life

Preceding her in death were her husband Jerry Murtonen, her daughter Diane along with her parents.

Surviving are:

Her husband: David Wiitanen of Hancock

Her children: Greg (Christine) Murtonen of Katy, TX

Dave (Diane) Murtonen of Ypsilanti, MI

Gwen (David) Brailsford of Toledo, OH

Jonelle (Patrick) Conway of Hartland, MI

Her grandchildren: Whitney Murtonen, Brad (Taylor) Murtonen, Steven Murtonen, Jeff Murtonen, Lindsey Kujawski, Ali Conway, Austin Conway, and Julia Conway.

Her great grandchildren: Lillian, Caroline and Rory

Her half-sister: Sandy Longfellow of Ishpeming

Her half-brother: Charles (Pat) Kemppa of Toivola

Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins

Funeral services for Gladys will be held at 12 noon Tuesday January 17, 2017, at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock with Rev. DJ Rasner officiating. Spring burial will be at the Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock.

Friends may call on Tuesday January 17, 2017, from 10:30 am until time of services at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy the family suggests that memorials be given to Samaritas (PO Box 674855, Detroit, MI 48267) for adoption services (through which all of Gladys' children were adopted) or to the Omega House (2211 Maureen Ln., Houghton, MI 49931) in memory of Gladys Wiitanen.

To view her obituary or to send condolences to the family please visit

The Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Homes of Hancock are assisting the family with the arrangements.