Erna Louise Sigan
STONINGTON — Erna Louise Sigan, 90, of Stonington, passed away Saturday evening, Dec. 2, 2017, at U.P. Health System – Marquette, in the company of her daughters.
She was born on April 10, 1927, in Gladstone, Mich., to John and Amanda (Berg) Sigg. Erna “Bucky” Sigg graduated from Gladstone High School in 1945 and enrolled in the Augustana Nursing School in Chicago, Ill., graduating into the Cadet Corp with a BSN. Fortunately, the war ended before she went to serve. Erna and Jack “Nick” were married in Gladstone on Dec. 27, 1948, and relocated to Lansing, Mich., where Jack attended Michigan State University. He studied chemical engineering, and Erna worked in the local hospital. After graduation, the couple moved to Minneapolis, Minn., where Erna became a homemaker, raising her three children and traveling extensively with her husband.
In 1971, the Sigans were transferred to Worthington, Ohio. Erna went back to school to become re-certified in nursing, then worked with troubled teenagers at Harding Hospital, a prestigious psychiatric treatment center. In 1976, Jack and Erna purchased land on the Stonington Peninsula, where they eventually built a house and retired; happy to be back home. The Sigans quickly became involved in their community. They enjoyed taking Bay Sages classes at Bay College, golfing at the Gladstone Golf Club in the summers, and snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter.
A true people person, Erna loved being active. She volunteered often at Trinity Lutheran Church, with the Bay Sages — she even traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak about the program, and with her local community organizations such as the Stonington Booster Club. Erna was an avid card player — delightful to play with. Bridge was a particular favorite, but so to were giant family rounds of ’99’ and ‘315.’ Her sense of humor, love of people, and generous heart won her friends and endeared her to her family. She was a strong, spunky role model for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Erna was comfortable in velvet, dancing at a formal occasion with her husband, and in blue jeans, clearing the woods and filling the feeders for her beloved birds, squirrels and “chippys.” Grandma Bucky will be missed, but never forgotten. Married to Erna just shy of 69 years, Jack said, “We’ve had a wonderful life, and the best part was that we knew it at the time.”
Erna is survived by her husband, Jack “Nick” W. Sigan; daughters, Bette (Steve Hartley) of Madison, and Leslie (Jon Richey) of Minneapolis; daughter-in-law, Sally Sigan of Lake Zurich, Ill.; beloved grandchildren, Michael Hartley (Aimee Mapes), Halya (Trent) Dolly, Kaili Richey (Jim Pichotta), Sigan Hartley (Jon Pauli), Jack (Stephanie) Sigan, Stevie Zvereva (Stas Zverev) and Gwen Sigan; her beloved great-grandchildren, Evan, Amelia, Kaleb, Mason, Ailish, Fritz, Maya, Beylen, Zoya, Eila, Kieren, Nikolai, and Alana; and sister, Margot Erickson of Escanaba.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Jack Alan Sigan; and her sister, Sylvia Smith.
Services celebrating the life of Erna will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stonington with Rev. Diane Srutowski. A luncheon with a time of sharing in Erna’s honor will follow at the Stonington Community Center. Burial will take place in Lakewood Cemetery in Stonington. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to donate to the Bay College Nursing Program for a scholarship to be established in Erna’s name or to Trinity Lutheran Church in Stonington.
The Anderson Funeral Homes are assisting the Sigan family and online condolences can be sent at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.