Phone: (906) 786-2142
400 S 10th St. - Escanaba, Michigan 49829
West 3755 US 2 - Spalding, Michigan 49886
Myrtle "Mert" H. Gustafson
Date of Death: June, 09 2017

          Myrtle "Mert" Helen Gustafson, 86, Marquette, passed away on Friday June 9, 2017 at Eastwood Nursing Center in Negaunee, MI. She was born on January 3, 1931 in Marquette, the daughter of the late Nels and Olga (Johnson) Rosendahl.  On November 29, 1947 she married the love of her life of 57 years, the late John "Gus" Gustafson.
          She was employed at Kresge's when younger and later worked at JC Penney's for 25 years, retiring as the manager of the shoe department in 1993. She remained close friends with many of the employees and got together frequently with her “breakfast bunch” and “lunch bunch.” She also worked many elections for the City of Marquette as a precinct worker. Mert was very active with RSVP of Marquette County donating many hours and knit countless baby sweaters, hats, booties and mittens for infants throughout the county. In 2015 she was honored and the proud recipient of the President's Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteer service signed by President  Barack Obama.
          She was devoted to her family, having a gathering every Christmas Eve at her house. It was filled with good food, including her famous potato salad, laughter and Mert sitting cross-legged on the floor with her grandchildren. Next to her family and friends, the most important thing in her life was animals, especially cats. She always said, “ There is nothing cuter in this world than cats!”
          Myrtle will be remembered by all who knew her as loving, caring and generous to a fault. She had a wonderful sense of humor and a never-ending smile and laugh that was appreciated by all who knew and loved her.  We will miss her greatly!
          She is survived by her four children: Sandra (Paul) Vogel, Bruce (Jean Ehrhardt) Gustafson, Gary (Margaret) Gustafson and Kelly (Dave) Tyburski all of Marquette, seven grandchildren: Kymberly (Jeffery) Schroder of Portage, MI, Shawn, Luke, Seth, Paul, Lars Gustafson and Kyle Tyburski all of Marquette, a great-granddaughter: Lydia Gustafson, step-grandchildren: Harley (Peggy) Coolman and Jodi Coolman, a sister-in-law: Jackie Kuhnly of Washington, as well as many nieces and nephews who were very special to her.
          Mert was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a sister: Margaret (John) Peterson, two infant brothers, a brother-in-law: Paul Gustafson and a sister-in-law: Ingrid (William) Frid.
          Myrtle's life will be remembered and celebrated with private burial services at a later date. The Allo Coolman Funeral Home of Escanaba is assisting her family.
          Mert's family would like to extend a thank you to the wonderful, caring staff at Eastwood Nursing Center and her caring nurses at U.P Home Health. They made her feel so comfortable and loved and made a difficult situation much better.
In lieu of flowers anyone wishing to send a memorial, please consider a gift to the Humane Society in Mert's name.

  • "So sorry to hear of Mert's passing. I worked with her at JCPenney's in the shoe department while I was going through college and learned so much from her-so much more than the shoe department could teach. She was the most upbeat, sweet, understanding supervisor and just all around wonderful person to be around. Rest in peace, Mert. Prayers to the family. God bless. "
    -Taryn Francis

  • "It was with deep sadness that I learned of Mrs Gustafson's passing. I first met this Dear Lady in 1979, when I moved to Marquette. A finer, gentler, sweeter Soul would be difficult to find. Always a ready smile, a wise crack, and a demeanor that put a person immediately at ease. My sincere condolences to Bruce, Gary, and the entire Family, as well as to Mrs G's many friends..May her Sweet Soul rest in Eternal Peace."
    -Fred Leopold

  • "I am saddened to hear that your mom has passed away. Mert will always hold a special place in my heart. She was so kind and caring to us when we lived across the hall on Arch Street. I have many wonderful memories of your entire family. I will miss her, very much. "
    -Liz Langlois-Ellis

  • "Deepest Sympathy and Prayers to all of you. I worked with Mert at J.C. Penny. In recent years a group of co-workers met each month for lunch. It was always a pleasant time visiting with her and she will be missed by all of us. Sincere condolences."
    -Louise Jean

  • "Extending to your family this heartfelt assurance of deep sympathy. With our condolences, the Marquette Area Public Schools Board of Education and Employees"

  • "Kelly and family. I was saddened to hear the news of your mother's passing. She was a very special person. I will always remember and smile , as I think of the years I worked with her at Penney's. She was one of the best !!!! Beautiful soul, great sense of humor and a wonderful friend. Hugs !!!"
    -Kathy L Parent

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