Cover photo for Ellen H. E. Tahtinen's Obituary
Ellen H. E. Tahtinen Profile Photo
1932 Ellen 2015

Ellen H. E. Tahtinen

June 12, 1932 — March 4, 2015

Ellen H. E. Tahtinen, 82, of Pelkie, passed away on March 4, 2015 at Baraga County Memorial Hospital. She was born June 12, 1932, in Watton, daughter of the late William and Martha (Ranta) Saarinen, of Watton. She attended grade school in Watton and graduated from L'Anse High School in 1950. On Nov. 11, 1950 she married Paul R. (Rudy) Tahtinen of Pelkie. They celebrated their 64th anniversary last November.

On Oct. 6, 1953 Ellen was stricken with polio, and she gave birth to their second child, Debbie, while paralyzed, at the Marquette Hospital. The doctors told her she'd never walk again, but she was determined to prove them wrong. For months she worked very hard and regained the use of her legs. She so wanted to go home and care for her two little daughters. She got out of the Marquette Hospital in January 1954. Six months later the Salk polio vaccine was invented. Ellen walked with a leg brace for a while, but eventually was able to discard it. She was married to Rudy for 64 years and they had four children. She served on the election board for many years.

Ellen was a wonderful wife and mother and she lovingly devoted her whole life to her dear husband Rudy, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Survivors include her husband Rudy Tahtinen, daughter Cynthia Tahtinen (Brian Louther) of Madison, WI, daughter Debbie (Tom) Clisch of Alston, son Paul (Jackie) Tahtinen of Pelkie, daughter Dixie (Tim) Pelto of Rapid River, brother William Saarinen of Waupaca, WI, sister Helen Hill of Covington, eight grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sisters Julia Eskel, Edla Franti, Martha Aalto, Elsie Rajala, and Elma Saarinen.

The family will be holding a memorial service in the spring. The Jacobson Funeral Home of L'Anse is assisting the family. Friends may sign Ellen's guest book or send condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ellen H. E. Tahtinen, please visit our flower store.


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