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Pauline Peterman | Presque Isle County Advance, Onaway Outlook


On September 25, 2022, Pauline Peterman, beautiful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmama, sister, friend and the Lord’s servant, went to her heavenly home, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.  

She was born Saundra Pauline Knuuttila in Houghton County December 31, 1935, to Hilia Hyypio Knuuttila and Onni Knuuttila…their first daughter. 

She was raised in the Copper Country surrounded by a wonderful Finnish heritage and activities that shaped her whole life. She loved the winter, and skated, sledded, gathered wood, tended animals and helped in the home. 

She was active in 4-H sewing, animal showing, and taught gun safety. She earned sharpshooter status as a member of the Michigan Tech Rifle Club. Pauline attended Canal School, spent a year in Virginia, and during high school worked at the Isle Royal Dining Room in Copper Harbor. 

She graduated from John A. Doelle High School in 1954.  After graduation, she relocated to Flint for a job at AC Spark Plug. In April of 1955, a co-worker introduced Pauline to Clifton Carl Peterman. Enduring love was sparked, and they were married August 27, 1955. They made their home in Onaway and raised seven children.

 Pauline loved flower gardening, growing and putting up vegetables, taking pictures, sewing, singing, and collecting rocks and antiques. 

She was a nurturing mom and always up for an adventure or a road trip. She loved to cook for her own family, but always had room for more around her large dining room table. She gave her all to raise her seven children, teaching them fairness, integrity, and most of all, love. She loved her grandchildren, showering them with hugs, cookies and fun trinkets she would find at garage sales. She was always up for holding a baby. 

As a loving wife, she and Cliff were the epitome of “togetherness,” taking road trips to see kids, hunting for genealogy information, ventures into the woods for wood, or running to town for a dinner at the Senior Center followed by a kiddie cone at the Dairy Queen. They drove bus together for the Onaway schools. As spouses they were never far from each other and held hands always. Pauline worked tirelessly to care for Cliff and her children…a true Proverbs 31 wife. 

Pauline was a member of the Onaway United Methodist Church, served as a Sunday school teacher and sang alto in the choir. She was a 4-H sewing and photography leader. 

She joined the Onaway Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5857 Auxiliary and served with the local Salvation Army, helping community residents with hardship needs. 

She gave rides and was a listening ear. All who knew her will remember a warm, loving, hug-giving lady…a “mom” to many. 

Pauline is survived by her dear husband of 67 years, Clifton, of Onaway; her seven children, Scott (Gabi) of Cody, Wyoming, Teresa of Onaway, Tom (Diane) of Onaway, Joel (Cari) of Cheboygan, Daniel (Cindi) of Dix, Illinois, Andy (Michelle) of Capon Bridge, West  Virginia and Tina (Rich) Robbins of Grayling.  She will be missed by 27 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by siblings, Marie (Don) Juntenen, Oscar Knuuttila, Sarah (Charlie) Wiideman and Marsha Kempainnen (John). Also surviving is uncle, Edward Hyypio; and a brother-in-law, Jetre Cope (Ann). Aunt Pauline was also much loved by scores of nieces and n

ephews and cousins. 

Welcoming her in heaven are her grandparents, parents, brother, Jeremiah Knuuttila, brothers and sisters-in-law, Lyle, Evelyn, Kaye and Georgia Peterman, Cecil and Olive Peterman, Dale and Eliza Jane Peterman, Alice Cope, grandsons, Joshua Arnett and Josh Gahn, and great-grandson, Pax Briones.

Visitation was Wednesday, September 28, at Chagnon Funeral Home.  Funeral arrangements are (today)Thursday, September 29, at the Onaway United Methodist Church, followed by burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Tower.  A hot luncheon will be served at Tower Community Hall. 

Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Pauline to the Salvation Army, or Hospice of Michigan. 



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