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D: 2019-05-17
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B: 1949-03-18
D: 2019-04-20
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D: 2019-03-27
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309 W. Parkdale Avenue
Manistee, MI 49660
Phone: (231) 723-1117
Fax: (231) 723-1029

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Obituary for Michal "Kate" Kathleen Heikkinen

Michal "Kate" Kathleen  Heikkinen
Michal Kathleen (Kate) Heikkinen

Kate was born in Detroit, MI on May 18th, 1942. She grew up in Ferndale, MI. She was the daughter of Clinton Leonard and Dorothy Beatrice (Hovious) Hudgens. She had two brothers, Ron and Kim, and one sister, Lindsey. Kate was a wife, mother, grandmother and well known fine artist.

Kate lived in Onekama for the last 34 years and enjoyed an active lifestyle and was loved by many people, near and far. She was a successful self-taught artist, exhibiting her artwork at Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois art fairs for the past 34 years. She began showing china painting in the early years and evolved her talent to create unique mixed media collage art. Kate was in numerous exhibits for one person showings at local and regional galleries and exhibitions. She received many awards and recognition for her work. She was an organizer for several art fairs, and was an active member of Manistee Art Institute. Kate was very multi-talented and such a bright light in the local art community.

Kate graduated from Ferndale High School in 1960. After high school, she attended Highland Park Junior College and did secretarial work until she married her husband, Ken Heikkinen. She met Ken at a social event in Royal Oak. When Ken met Kate he told his friend, “I am going to marry her,” which he did in December, 1963. They had three children, Sven, Amy and Emily. Kate was blessed to be a stay at home mother and homemaker.

Growing up, Kate had a love for horses, animals and nature. As a child, she took horse riding lessons and had several cats. She enjoyed school and made life long friends. Her family was very close, and her Grandma Hudgens was an accomplished seamstress and made Kate’s formal gowns, some with paintings of butterflies by her mother. Kate was a good athlete and loved to play baseball in the local park.

Kate and Ken had a fulfilling life together. Their desire to raise their children in Upper Michigan drew them to live in the small town of Pickford for 8 years. They lived on 10 acres and were outdoor enthusiasts and enjoyed family time snowmobiling, motorcycling, horseback riding, snowshoeing and cross country skiing, in addition to having a horse and many pets. She always told her children, “there is no being bored.” They ensured their children had a wholesome upbringing. In the summertime, she involved her children the local chapter of 4-H and even facilitated the entomology and wildflower classes, and her childrens’ and students’ collections won blue ribbons at local fairs.

Kate enjoyed traveling with Ken to various places...Colorado, Utah, and the Smokey Mountains, just to name a few. Kate was blessed with five grandchildren, Kirsi, Kinzie, Kaija, Kaleb and Liam. She was proud of each one of them and loved them very much.

In lieu of flowers, we are asking for donations to the Sven Heikkinen Engineering Scholarship Fund, c/o Lake Superior State University Foundation, 650 Easterday Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI, 49783. Direct online donations can also be made at

The family has entrusted funeral arrangements with Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center of Manistee.

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