View Full Version : Nikki Gatzke (Nikkila) 1923- 2016

24-09-16, 12:22
NIKKI Passed away peacefully on March 5, 2016. Nikki was born in Detroit, Michigan to Fred and Ailie Nikkila, on November 4, 1923. Her Finnish heritage defined her character and gave her strength (SISU) through all of life's challenges. Shortly after World War II, Nikki married Robert C. Gatzke (dec.). During their marriage, they traveled and resided with their four children in (Buenos Aires) Argentina, (Mexico City) Mexico, and (São Paulo) Brazil for many years. Their many Latin American adventures opened up the world for them, and changed the lives of the whole family. In 1971, Nikki moved back to the United States, settling in Ann Arbor, MI, where she reconnected with family and life-long friends, and formed many new lasting and dear friendships. Everywhere Nikki lived she was very active in her local Lutheran church, singing alto in the choir and participating in the ladies' groups. She was a devoted hospital volunteer (Pink Lady) during their travels, and became a Home Health Aide in Michigan, working for the VNA until 1985. As the matriarch of the family, Nikki left a legacy of joy. She loved keeping us all informed of the travels and accomplishments of the whole extended family. Nikki is preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Ethelyne and husband Arne Kristo; sister-in-law Dorothy and husband Walter Newman; sister-in-law, Betty and husband James Heller; nieces, Deborah Newman and Marilyn Webb; nephews, Robert Newman and Arnot Heller. She is survived by daughter, Linda (Lance) Hool and children, Jason (Kristina), Brett, and Veronica; son, Ross (Sheila) Gatzke and children, Robert Robbins, Diana (Robert) Dailey, Greta (Christopher), and Franz; Andrea Markowski, Brad and Eric Thill; son, Todd (Cheri) Gatzke and children, Angela (Ryan) and Kayla (Paul); son, Grant Gatzke; nephew, Darrell Kristo; niece, CJ (Barry) Poulton; sister, Nancy Sammons, niece, Barbara Ann Beckner and children, Andy and Aurora. great-grandchildren, Alyia and PJ; Eleonora; Sabrina and Clayton; Darren, Gabriella, and Sienna; Zachery; Annabell and Lucas; Jolie and Tyler. Newman; nephews/niece, Marilyn's (Norman) four children, ten grandchildren; Walter (Mayumi), three children; two grandchildren, Sharon (Ray) Thum; eight children, 14 grandchildren, Richard (Dorothy); three children; seven grandchildren, Robert's (Christine); three children, six grandchildren, Charles (Elaine), one child, three grandchildren; Heller nieces/nephews, Peggy (Dwight Ebaugh) Rosenkrands, three children, three grandchildren; Arnot's (Cathy) three children, eight grandchildren; Chris (James) Preston, two children, two grandchildren; James (Maria), two children; Beth Verville, three children, one grandchild. Please join the family in celebrating the life of our Beloved MOM, SISTER, AUNT NIKKI, and GRANDMA NIKKI, Saturday, April 2, 2016 at Zion Lutheran Church, 1501 W. Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Family visitation at 2:00 p.m. Service at 3:00 p.m.; a Light Supper at 4:00 p.m. hosted by Nikki's Ruth Circle. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Nikki's name to the Zion Memorial Garden or to Glacier Hills Manor Assisted Living, 1200 Earhart Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Nikki personified grace and optimism. Her contagious laughter and smile are missed by all who knew and loved her.

Published in the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News and other local publications from Mar. 20 to Mar. 26, 2016 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/detroitnews/obituary.aspx?n=nikki-gatzke&pid=178100900#sthash.CRXwt698.dpuf