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Welcome to the memorial page for

Melba Esther Irene (Sirvio) Pantti

January 16, 1930 ~ March 19, 2017 (age 87)

On the early afternoon of March 19, 2017 Melba Esther Irene (Sirvio) Pantti was granted the desire of her heart to go home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.. The 15th child of 16 born to Wilho and Susanna (Smith) Sirvio.   She was the last survivor of the 16 children.

Melba was born on a stormy winter day January, 16, 1930 in Matchwood MI.  Her Grandma Smith “Ammi” delivered her because Dr. Bender was not able to get there, as the story goes. She started school in the 1st grade as there was no kindergarden.  They moved to Woodspur in 1940 where her father purchased land and built a farm.  She, then, attended the Ontonagon High School graduating with the class of 1947; 7th in her class.  

That fall, on October 8th, she was united in marriage to Elmer Pantti of Rockland MI.  They made their home there.  There were 6 children born to them: Dennis Elmer, Bonita Louise, Michael Bruce, Wendell Steven, Rodney Lee and Sheryl Ann.  

Melba was a wonderful wife and mother. In her early years, with small children, she also worked in their family store. Melba was such a quiet, sweet, gentle woman with amazing strength.   Some may be inclined to deem her with  limitations, but she accomplished many unbelievable tasks.   Including taking care of her husband when he was ill, living alone for almost  20 years, and a few years ago helping take care of her son, Rodney, who was battling cancer.

She not only possessed physical strength, but also emotional and spiritual.  This strength played out in this last year of the struggle she had endured. She was such a strong woman physically, mentally, emotionally and most of all spiritually. We, along with countless doctors and nurses, were absolutely amazed by it.  

She was a very talented, beautiful, intelligent and organized woman.   She loved to sing while playing the guitar and do puzzles of all kinds.  She also was a great seamstress; making gowns and sewing by hand the first layet for her first 2 born children. She crocheted and loved to read informative material, always gaining knowledge and ready to share it. But most of all, you would find her reading her Bible and praying. Also, if you dropped by anytime in the morning you would find her listening to Jan Tucker.  She had recipes galore from that show. She was a wonderful (healthy) cook and her speciality: baking.  They were very welcome gifts to family and friends during holidays, which she made very special. 
What she loved most, besides Jesus, was her family.  That included her siblings, nieces and nephews.  She would often tell stories of them and loved visiting with them when they stopped by. She loved to pass on the family history to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Everyone in her family was very important to her. Melba's family were her closest friends. Throughout the last year of life she acquired a dear friend, Cindy Peters; a fellow nursing home resident. You would find Cindy visiting her, reading her scripture and sharing prayers on any given day. Also, a very talented gentlemen resident, Al, would sing and play his harmonica along with her granddaughter, Becky, as she did music therapy with  her. It was a blessed time that gave her and her family such comfort, support and love during the struggle. 

Melba is survived by: a son Dennis Pantti of Kingsford MI, Daughters; Bonita (Patrick) O'Connell of  Foxcrossing WI, and Sheryl McGeary of Colrado Springs, Colorado.  Grandchildren: Jeff Sullivan, Rockland, MI; Angela (Konrad) Spitzbart, Atoka TN; Philip McGeary, Colorodo Springs, CO; Natasha Edwina, Carlsbad, CA; Kenneth O'Connell, Sparta ,WI; Rebecca (Brian) Dvorak, Kaukauna WI; Erica Pantti, White Pine MI; Jason Pantti, Ironwood MI;  Joshua (Heather) O'Connell; Appleton WI;  Amanda Pantti (Matthew Ruby) Ironwood MI. and Isaac Pantti; Houghton MI. Great granchildren: Gunnar, Shailyn, Sdyney, Lukus, Paul, Jared, Gabriel, Korbin, Kalon, Ahnya, Nyah, Lily, Isis, Jax and one on the way.  Great great grandchildren Harlee and Rowan.  Daughters-in-law Patricia Pantti, Laurie Pantti. Also Diana (Issac's mom) and Gerri (Amanda's mom). Numerous nieces and nephews of whom she loved dearly.  

She was preceded in death by her husband Elmer Pantti in 1997. Her parents, Wilho and Susanna. Brothers and sisters-in-law:  Waino, Walter (Isbelle), Edwin, Wilho Jr. (Dorothy), Emil (Elsie), Victor (Lucille), Alvar (Eva), Sulo (Rosalie), Arvi and Erwin. Sisters and brothers-in law: Viloa (Raymond) Myhren, Martha (Homer) Burbridge, Armida (John) Mattatall, Sylvia (Rex) Cobb, and Linda (Herbert) Maki. Sons: Michael , Wendell, and Rodney.  Grandchildren: Micki Lynn, Michael, Heather and Ryly.   

Funeral services will be held on Saturday April 1, 2017 at Redeemer Free Lutheran Church in Ontonagon, MI, at 1:00 PM, visitation one hour prior to services.   Officiating will be Rev. Kenneth Storm.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate to Ronald McDonald House, 850 2nd St SW, Rochester, MN 55902, Phone: (507) 282-3955.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Ronald McDonald House
850 2nd St SW, Rochester MN 55902
Tel: 1-507-280-0377

 Service Information

April 1, 2017

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Redeemer Free Lutheran Church
315 S. Steel Street
Ontonagon, MI 49953

Funeral Service
April 1, 2017

1:00 PM
Redeemer Free Lutheran Church
315 S. Steel Street
Ontonagon, MI 49953

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