Cover photo for Helvie Miriam Gorinac's Obituary
Helvie Miriam Gorinac Profile Photo
1914 Helvie 2009

Helvie Miriam Gorinac

March 28, 1914 — December 14, 2009

Mother You may not be great or famous Or known in realms of art But you are rich in treasures That gild a gentle heart.

Helvie (Toyras) Gorinac 95, of L'Anse went home to be with the Lord on December 14, 2009. She had been a resident at Bayside Village in L'Anse for 9 years. Helvie Miriam Toyras was born on March 28, 1914, in Osceola Location (Calumet)to Sophia (Haapalehto) and Matt Toyras. That same spring they moved to Aura being one of the first families to settle there. She attended school in Aura. She was married to Russell Johnson in 1933. He drowned in 1934. In 1938, she married Oscar Westman of Pequaming. He died in 1965. Helvie married Joseph Gorinac of Port Huron in 1969. He preceded her in death in 2005. Helvie was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Her many interests included oil painting, sewing, carpet weaving, carpentry, baking, playing the harmonica, and berry picking. She shared her many interests with her children and grandchildren. Helvie was a member of the US Ground Observer Corp along with her husband, Oscar Westman. They served over 85,000 hours in the Early Warning Observer Corp during the 1950's before the Calumet Radar Base. Her love of baking was shared with L'Anse when she baked pasties at the Night Owl Cafe. Helvie along with her two daughters, Barbara and Diane, worked together at the Hilltop Restaurant for several years. She enjoyed traveling with the Wally Byam Airstreamers, traveling all over the US, Canada and Mexico with her husband, Joseph Gorinac. She was a member of the L'Anse Baptist Church and the Aura Hospital Auxiliary. Helvie was preceded in death by her parents, husbands; Russell Johnson, Oscar Westman and Joseph Gorinac, sisters; Helga Franciskovich, Hulda Kokko, Hilda Saari, Siiri Ollila, and Gertrude Elmblad and great-grandson, Thomas Clark Westman. She is survived by her children, Barbara (Rodney) Bolton, L'Anse, Clark (Pat) Westman, L'Anse, Diane (Charles) Eshbach, Houghton, Terry (Bonnie) Westman, L'Anse and step-son, Laverne (Joy) Gorinac, Port Huron. Also surviving are grandchildren; Rodney Scott (Linda) Bolton, Shelley (Rob) Ranica, Todd Bolton, Tracey (Greg) Alessandroni, Kristin (Pat) Newland, John (Jennifer) Westman, Stephanie (Tim) Veenstra, Zachary (Lisa) Eshbach, Joshua (Bethany) Eshbach, Wendy (Dawson) LaCasse, Curt Westman, Dana (Greg) Sprowl and step-grandchildren; Tracey (Jay) Roberts, Lindi (Dave) Denny, Lori (Mark) Nadozny, and Jim (Becky) Gorinac. She is also survived by 21 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren and 11step-great-grandchildren. Sisters; Sylvia Nelson and Signe Koski and brothers; Matt (Rose) Toyras and Helmer (Pearl) Toyras also survive as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends. Thank you to everyone at Bayside Village for caring for our mother during the 9 years she was there. During the "long goodbye" we have appreciated all of the friends met along the way. A service celebrating her life will be Wednesday, December 23, 2009, at the United Lutheran Church in L'Anse at 1 PM with Rev. Kathe Salmi of Hancock officiating. Visitation will be at the church at noon until the service. A luncheon will follow in the church fellowship hall served by the L'Anse Baptist and United Lutheran Church women. The Jacobson Funeral Home of L'Anse is assisting the family.

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