Illa Jean (Shalla) Maciejewski, 80, passed away Sunday, July 31, 2022, at MyMichigan Medical Center – Alpena with her family by her side.
Illa Jean Shalla was born March 30, 1942, in Alpena, Michigan to the late Casimer and Florence (Kurtz) Shalla. On October 10, 1964, she married the love of her life Thomas William Maciejewski. They made Alpena their lifelong home. Illa worked as a GTE telephone operator for many years and always talked about how she enjoyed her job. Illa looked forward to her monthly GTO Club meetings and was very active as a Red Hatter. Illa had a passion for reading and was never without a book in hand.
Illa enjoyed traveling with her sister Sally on their yearly Florida trips and crossing the pond to the U.K. and Europe with her friend and neighbor Sandra Donajkowski. Illa was very fond of taking adventures out on their motorcycle. Tom and she would ride endlessly on the scenic roads of Northern Michigan taking in the sights and smells of the open road with their many riding friends.
Back at home, her passion for birds, cats, and all animals was the highlight of her days. Her birdfeeders and baths were never empty and she always had a bird call by her side. Whether it be a robin, hummingbird, oriole, blue jay, or dove she was always fascinated by her flying friends. She loved gardening, camping, shopping, sewing, and creating beautiful cards and care packages for her children on their many adventures and for their birthdays and holidays when they were away from home.
Surviving are her husband, Thomas; daughter, Heidi (Philip) Hein of Little Rock, Arkansas; son, Shane Maciejewski of Bozeman, Montana; sister, Sally (John) Cunningham of Plymouth, Michigan; nephews, Eric of Seattle, Adam and Ryan both of South Lyon, Michigan.
Illa will be cremated and requested to have no service held for her. Instead, she would like family, relatives, friends, and acquaintances to feed a bird, read a book, and go on an adventure in her honor. Illa wished to be remembered as a loving wife, caring mother, supportive friend, and a free spirit. Illa Jean Maciejewski will be missed dearly. Arrangements have been made by the Bannan Funeral Home.
Inurnment: Holy Cross Cemetery