A. Victoria “Piika” Shega, age 83, of Traunik, died early Wednesday morning, April 15, 2020 at UPHS – Marquette after a brief illness She was born on September 29, 1936 in Chatham, Michigan to Arvid and Jennie (Norcole) Hill. She was the 11th born of 12 siblings, and her dad nicknamed her “Piika” as she was the baby girl of the family. Vicky attended Eben High School and graduated from Graveraet High School in Marquette. When she met Joseph Henry Shega, she said he was more handsome than Elvis. They met working in the Ostanek potato fields when Joe started flirting by throwing rotten potatoes at her, and that is where their beautiful love story began. Vicky spent time in Pontiac, MI living with her older sisters, Maggie and Bertha, while attending school at Lincoln Junior High School. While visiting home, she ran into Joe once more and that was all it took. Vicky married Joe on October 16th , 1954 and together they raised their two children, Paul and Tammy. While the children were young, Vicky and her lifelong friend Shirley (Wiitanen) Maden would work and spend precious time together as they took on cleaning jobs and painting projects for many people in the area. After the kids had grown up and moved away, Vicky kept herself busy by working as the assistant Postmaster at the Chatham Post Office with her dear friend, Beatrice Johnson. She also worked for her brothers and sisters who owned the Village Pub throughout the years, and later, loved bringing food to and visiting with the community members who volunteered their time and skills to help with restoration efforts there in 2016.
She was a social butterfly who enjoyed going to community dances such as the VFW Hundred Dollar Dance and the polka dances held at the Traunik Slovenian Club where Vicky and Joe were both members. Vicky was passionate and meticulous about her flower gardens and yardwork. Even after planting an abundant amount of flowers throughout her yard, she would often be caught sneaking more flower baskets onto the patio. She was a proud, loyal, and loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Vicky will be remembered for her bold personality, contagious laughter, and her generosity and genuine love for her family. She was supportive but had high expectations and encouraged her loved ones to do their best. A favorite saying of hers was “If I’d known how fun having grandchildren would be, I would’ve had them first,” which rings true in her actions throughout her life. Vicky collected emails, cards, and newspaper clippings from her grandchildren’s accomplishments and was always there to cheer them on whatever they were doing. You could find Vicky and Joe sitting in the same spot on the bleachers for Superior Central Cougars basketball games, and spot their truck parked in Center-Right field for their little league baseball and softball games while rooting for Jessica and Mackenzy. She looked forward to the summer days when Katharine and Ben would visit, and all her grandchildren would be under the same roof. She was tickled when she became a great grandmother with the welcoming of Lennon Maki.
She was a woman who wore her heart on her sleeve and couldn’t hide her emotions even if she tried. Vicky knew how to have fun. She enjoyed singing karaoke, dancing, and biking. She enjoyed getting together with her immediate family, girlfriends, and siblings for barbeques, holiday dinners, shopping trips, and eating out for lunch or dinner. Vicky will be missed by those who loved her for her sass and spunk that kept everyone on their toes and her words of encouragement that were always what needed to be heard.
Vicky is survived by her loving husband of over sixty-five years – Joe Shega of Traunik; their children – Paul (Kay) Shega of Winston/Salem, NC and Tammy Shega of Chatham; grandchildren – Katharine Shega of Savannah, GA, Ben (Ning Kai) Shega of Washington DC, Jessica (Ryan) Maki of Marquette, MI, and Mackenzy Shega-Fox of Clarkston, MI; great-granddaughter – Lennon Maki; close sister – Margaret Beaudry and very special sister in law, Delores Hill, of Waterford, MI; sisters-in-law, Josie (Robert) Ripperger (Kansas City, MO), and Christine Hawley (Menominee Falls, WI); and numerous nieces and nephews whom she was also very proud of. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Bertha Ayotte and Betty Livermore, and brothers George, Reino, Frank, Kenneth, Bernie, Stanley, Jack, and Robert Hill.
Public services for Vicky will be planned and announced when the current restrictions allow.