HERMANSVILLE – Marie Ann Elizabeth Ditch, 80, Hermansville, died September 27, 2021 at Cedar Hill Assisted Living in Bark River.
He was born on December 28, 1940 in Hibbing, Minn., The daughter of the late Oliver and Ida (Tamminen) Bispala.
Marie participated in K-12 in Hibbing, Minn.
She always loved singing, but her parents didn’t know her wonderful voice until she started singing in a high school choir.
As a young woman, Marie enjoyed family reunions, water / forest fun, and saunas at her parents ’cottage on Lake Sturgeon in Lake Side, Minn.
Marie loved to swim as much as she sang and served for some time as a lifeguard at camp.
Marie studied at the University of Finland in Hancock, Mich., With her cousin Sally. In Finland, Marie sang in a choir, completed an assistant degree in accounting and met her husband Martin Oja. Marie and Martin married on January 19, 1962. During the first years of their marriage, they lived in various places during Martin’s career and landed in the Hermansville-Powers area around 1969. Before long, they moved into their large yellow house in Hermansville, where they raised five children.
Martin’s parents also had a place on the lake. As their children grew up, Oja’s cottage on Portage Lake in Chassell, Mich. Was full every summer with family and friends. Mom came from a family that had several coffees every day. In Chassell, the treat with coffee was Strawberry Shortcake. On Lake Sturgeon, it was often a blueberry delicacy baked by Grandma Bispala.
Marie was active in the United Methodist Church in Hermansville (was the great home of a large family) for about as long as she lived in Hermansville. He began by teaching young Sunday School students and then moved on to various roles over the years. Her favorites included the choir, the United Methodist Women group, the Pinecrest Song Service, and the importation of worship recordings to close so they didn’t feel disconnected from the church family.
Marie was a mother at home and a mother in the school room until the early ’80s, when she decided to train and take a night shift in nursing at Pinecrest Medical Department. He didn’t want to retire because he enjoyed his job and being with his comrades.
He was left with a kid, Roberta Bispala; brother, Ted (Jane) Bispala; sister, Margie (Robert) Workman; children, Joan Oja, Timothy (Nicole) Oja, Michael (Christy) Oja, Dan (Valerie) Oja and Cheryl (Raymond) Hansen; grandchildren, Jacqueline Amherst-Kemps, Chandler Oja, Miranda Oja, Dylan Oja, Wyatt Oja, Olivia Oja, Matthew Oja, Nina Hansen, Violet Hansen and Breanna Oja.
Marie was preceded by the death of her parents, her husband and her brother Thomas Bispala.
Although we miss the mother, now that she is dead, we are glad to hope that she will now sing in the choir of God.
Friends can call on Saturday, October 2, 2021 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. (Methodical Church) in Hermansville.
A funeral in honor of Marie Oja’s life will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CST) at the church under Pastor Jeff Gagne.
Burial follows services at Meyer Township Cemetery.
Allo Coolman’s funeral homes help the Oja family.
Visit www.allofh.com to send condolences to his family.