Shirley C. Rajala

DOLLAR BAY – Shirley C. (Roy) Rajala, 77, a resident of E. Grosse Pointe Shores in Dollar Bay, passed away Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at the Franklin House of Portage Pointe in Hancock, where she had been a resident patient.

She was born on Oct. 9, 1935, in Hancock, a daughter of the late Carl and Laina (Saaranen) Hiltunen. As a child she attended the Hancock Schools.

Shirley moved to the Detroit area where she was united in marriage to Roy Rajala on June 19, 1954. The couple had resided in Detroit, Livonia, Pinckney, Marquette and since 1996 had made their home in East Grosse Pointe Shores.

In her younger years, Shirley worked at the Kress Department in the Detroit area. She was a devoted housewife and loving mother who raised five daughters. For a short period of time she cleaned homes in the Marquette area.

Shirley was a member of the First Apostolic Lutheran Church of Houghton. She loved working with crafts, sewing, baking and canning fruits and vegetables from her garden. One of her greatest joys in life were being surrounded by her grandchildren.

Preceding her in death were her parents, her sister June Rajala and infant sister Jean Katherine.

Surviving are her husband, Roy Rajala of Dollar Bay; her beloved daughters, Beverley (James) Heikkinen of Calumet, Barbara (Corey) LaPlaunt of Marquette, Brenda (Gary) Albright of Marquette, Bettie (Oscar) Sotomayor of Suffolk, Va., BeckySue (Scott) Becker of Atlanta, Ga.; 25 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, and christian friends including her dear nephew, Del Rajala of Mohawk and cousin Bertha Norczyk of Ontonagon.

Funeral services for Shirley will be held 11 am Friday May 10, 2013, at the First Apostolic Lutheran Church in Houghton with Richard Eskola to officiate. Friends may call on Thursday, May 9, 2013 from 5 to 7:00 pm at the Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Hancock and on Friday from 10 am until time of services at the First Apostolic Lutheran Church in Houghton.

To view Shirley’s obituary or to send condolences to the family please visit

The Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Hancock has been assisting the family with the arrangements.