Joseph Henry Shega, 94, of Traunik Michigan, passed away on July 25th, 2022 in Marquette Michigan.
Joe was born in Forest Lake Michigan in a logging camp community to Joseph and Johanna (Mikulich) Shega on April 3rd, 1928. The family moved to Traunik when he was only 2 months old where they ran a farm. He went to school at the two room school house in Traunik and then later, Eben High School. Joe was the youngest of 8 kids, the baby of the family and the only boy. He made a childhood friend down the road, Pete Ostanek, who still is his neighbor and good friend today. Joe would pick potatoes in the Ostanek fields, which is where he eventually met the love of his life Vicky HIll, as he’d flirt and throw the rotten potatoes at her. They were advised to not be together due to different family backgrounds and an 8 year age gap, but they were young and in love and didn’t care. Shortly after, they got married on October 16th, 1954 and started their family and were married for over 65 years. Together, they raised two children Paul and Tammy. Joe worked at the Richmond & Hawley Lumber Yard in Chatham MI, and was very proud of his time with the Alger County Road Commision where he retired as a foreman. They called him “ShegaMaki” since he was the only one at the county garage without a Maki at the end of his name, a nickname he loved.
He enjoyed spending time outdoors, especially preparing for November and hunting season. He got a buck almost every year, and his favorite story to tell was how he once got two bucks in the same day. You could find him playing solitaire and smear, gardening, riding his tractor, and last but not least - watching the Detroit Tigers. Joe loved to tease, and was always fond of a good April Fool’s Day joke especially when delivering it to one of his grandchildren with a twinkle in his eye.
Joe is preceded in death by his loving wife of 65 years, Vicky, parents Joseph and Johanna Shega, and sisters, Francis Brisson, Antonia Gunderson, Amelia Eliason, Margaret Filkas, and Ann Quarfoot, and infant sister who died in an epidemic near Onota.
Joe is survived by his son, Paul of Winston-Salem NC, and daugher, Tammy of Chatham; grandchildren Jessica (Ryan) Maki of Marquette MI, Mackenzy Shega-Fox of Royal Oak MI, Katharine Shega of Savannah GA, Ben (Ning) Shega of Washington D.C., and great-grandchildren, Lennon Leigh and Maren Meadow Maki. He is also survived by sisters, Christine Hawley of Menominee Falls WI and Josephine (Robert) Ripperger of Kansas City MO and lifelong friend Pete Ostanek of Traunik MI.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 30, at 1:00pm with visitation beginning at 11:00am at the Bowerman Funeral Home in Munising, with Pastor Paul Kelto officiating. Burial will follow at the Mathias Township Cemetery on Friday, May 26, 2023 at 12:00 noon.
Because of Joe’s love of baseball, it is asked that memorials be given to the local Little League organizations. Donations may be made to the Tri-County Little League c/o Northern Lights Federal Community Credit Union, PO Box 126, Chatham, MI 49816.
Following Joe’s funeral service, there will be a fellowship gathering at The Pub in Chatham.