Florence Heliste

March 12, 2020


Florence “Becky” Ethel Heliste, age 99 passed away on March 12, 2020 at the Curry House Assisted Living in Cadillac.

Becky was born November 28, 1920 in Chassell, Michigan to Henry and Minnie (Bukema) Etapa. She attended a one-room school initially and then graduated from Houghton High School. After graduation she moved to Detroit and worked for Michigan Bell Telephone Co.

She met her husband Peter, in the Detroit area after he was discharged from the U.S. Army after World War II. They were married in Hancock in 1947. After 63 years together, Peter preceded her in death on February 16, 2011.

She worked at Jacobsen’s store in Birmingham, Michigan in the 1970’s. Her interests were gardening, baking (especially bread and Christmas cookies), knitting, crafts, and she was an accomplished seamstress. She and Peter enjoyed camping and traveling throughout the country and visited most of the states. They also traveled to Finland to visit relatives. She was a member of the Moddersville Reformed Church and the Cadillac Telephone Pioneers.

She is survived by her two daughters, Carin Pitzer of Battle Creek and Sandra (Steve) Gruenberg of Moddersville; granddaughter Jennifer (Mike) Crawford of Battle Creek; great-grandson Brody Crawford; brother Jim(Claudia) Etapa of Chassell; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and 13 brothers and sisters.

Cremation has taken place and a graveside memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Moddersville Reformed Church. The family is being served by the Burkholder Family Funeral Home of McBain. Thoughts and prayers may be left at

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