Evelyn A. (Rajala) Hilgren


ELY TOWNSHIP, MI – Evelyn Alice Hilgren, 86, formerly of Co. Rd. CD, Ely Township, passed away peacefully Sunday evening, March 12, 2017 at Teal Lake Assisted Living, with her loving family at her side and under the care of U.P. Home Health and Hospice.

Evelyn was born November 16, 1930 on the family farm in Kettle River, MN to Ahtie and Elsa (Lakas) Hokkanen and graduated from Negaunee High School, Class of 1948. She married the late John Rajala, Sr. and together they raised their three children in Ishpeming. Evelyn was a devoted homemaker and also worked for a short time at Bell Memorial Hospital as a nurse’s aide and also worked at the H.W. Gossard.

Mrs. Hilgren was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church, Ishpeming. She was avid fan of the Detroit Tigers, the Green Bay Packers and the Michigan State Spartans and also enjoyed an occasional trip to the casino. Most importantly she loved time spent with her family, especially her beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Surviving are her son, John (Ximena) Rajala, Jr. of Seattle, WA; daughters, Christine (Carl) Wolter of Presque Isle, WI and Kathleen (Paul) Smith of Negaunee; 7 grandchildren: Kevin and Gregory Asgaard, Heather (Brian) Hart, Doug (Kristen) Wolter, Dan (Erin) McKenzie, Nathan (Samantha) Wolter and Raymond Rajala; 5 great-grandchildren: Logan & Briella Hart, Amelia & Jocelyn Wolter and Henry J. Wolter; sister-in-law, Lil Rajala of Spokane, WA; special niece, Audrey Deur of Ishpeming; and special friend, June Harsila of Ishpeming.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, John Rajala, Sr. in 1985; second husband, Victor Hilgren in 1998; and a sister, Irja Riekki.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, March 15th at Bethel Lutheran Church, Ishpeming with Rev. Lauri Maki officiating. Burial will be in the Ishpeming Cemetery.

The family will greet relatives and friends at church for one hour prior to services on Wednesday, and also at a luncheon at the church fellowship hall immediately following the service.

Evelyn’s memorial page may viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com, where memories and condolences may be shared.