Cover photo for Bertha Victoria (Mutkala)  McClung's Obituary
Bertha Victoria (Mutkala)  McClung Profile Photo
1928 Bertha 2023

Bertha Victoria (Mutkala) McClung

May 11, 1928 — December 13, 2023

Bertha Victoria McClung (nee Mutkala; Wolfe) passed away of natural causes on 12/13/2023 at the age of 95, at Bayside Village in L'Anse, where she had been a resident for nine months.
Bertha was the youngest of ten children born to Samuel and Hilma (Vahamaki) Mutkala on May 11,1928, on the family farm in Laird Township near Pelkie, where she was an only daughter, growing up with six older brothers. She attended Laird Township Schools and graduated from Baraga High School in 1946. She then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where she enrolled in an office practice course. She remembered her mother sewing money into the lining of her coat before she left for Minnesota so it would not be lost or stolen.
While in Minnesota, she met Chester Wolfe and they married in February 1947. They continued to reside there and a son, Sammie, was born in August 1950. Bertha's father died later that year and someone was needed to take over operating their dairy farm. No one was able or interested in doing so immediately, so the dairy herd was sold, while Hilma and their son Edwin remained living on the farm. In 1952, the Wolfe family returned to the farm to reestablish a dairy herd and operate the farm. In addition to a large herd of milking cows, they also raised chickens and sold eggs. Bertha had an egg delivery route that included Mass City and Ontonagon. A great deal of hard work was required to run the farm which she and Chester did with little additional help. She was young and strong and prided herself on being a good worker, reporting often working late into the night, then getting up early to milk cows again. She boasted of lifting grain sacks that weighed more than she did. Sammie helped on the farm until he went away to college and the Air Force. At some point Bertha's mother and Edwin moved into their own place adjacent to the Wolfe farm.
After farming for many years, Chester was diagnosed with cancer from which he died in1982. The animals were again sold and Bertha went to work as a housekeeper at Baraga County Memorial Hospital in L'Anse. She remained living in the house in which she had grown up. Sammie and his wife Dana moved back to the farm and it again became an active enterprise. He built another house on the property and their two sons, Greyson and Jonas were raised there.
In 1984, Bertha married Sam (Mack) McClung. Earlier, she had been his housekeeper and cared for his wife through a terminal illness. They lived on his farm in Alston and Bertha resumed the role of a farmer's wife. They eventually sold the farm and bought a house across the road from it where they lived the rest of their years together. Their twenty-five year marriage was a very happy time for her. They shared a devote religious faith, traveled to see Mack's military friends and family scattered far and wide. She cared for Mack as his health declined and when he entered a nursing home, she visited him daily at lunchtime. Her son Sammie had also developed cancer when Mack's health was declining and, sadly, Mack and Sammie died within months of each other in 2009.
Bertha was a devote Christian and a member of Pelkie Gospel Hall. She found comfort in her faith during hard times and lived her Christian values by welcoming many into her home, feeding and housing visiting family, friends and ministers of her church. Her kitchen was often fragrant with the aroma of freshly baked Nisu, or pasties or homemade pizza. What she cooked she shared with others. She paid attention to people and was generous with compliments. She lived alone after Mack died, remaining in their house for fourteen years. She was able to do this only through the care and support of friends and family. Debbie and Tom Clisch, her next door neighbors, were generous beyond words in caring for her through her final days. Without their support she would not have been able to say in her home as long as she did.
Bertha is survived by her grandsons, Greyson Wolfe of Pelkie and Jonas Wolfe of Wyoming, step-grandchildren, James, Martin and Jason McClung, and Clinton and Conrad Kuivanen, several step-great grandchildren and a special niece Brenda Reishus of Minnesota. Also left to mourn her are numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, friends and her church family. She was predeceased by a sister, Taima, and brothers Eero and Samuel, all of whom died in infancy. She outlived her brothers, Arthur (Eva), Edwin (Pearl), Ernest, Waino (Virginia), Wesley, Toivo (Ruth) and a niece Arlene Hefnider (William).
Special thanks to the caring staff of Bayside Village where Bertha spent her last few months, and especially to Debbie and Tom Clisch for their many years of devoted care to Bertha. Her trials and cares are over; may Bertha know peace and comfort in the hereafter she looked forward to.
Her funeral service will be held on Thursday, December 21st at 1:00 p.m. at Jacobson Funeral Home with John Jurmu and Mark Timonen officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be in the spring in the Alston Cemetery. Jacobson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Friends may sign Bertha's guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bertha Victoria (Mutkala) McClung, please visit our flower store.

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Visitation

Thursday, December 21, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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