Ilona Dagmar Wirtanen, age 76, passed away peacefully in hospice care at Ecumen Lakeshore on March 30, 2020.
Ilona was born in Duluth on August 30, 1945. She attended Washburn Elementary School and East High School, graduating as Valedictorian in 1963. She went on to attend and graduate from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and later earned an MBA from the U of CA, Berkeley.
For many years Ilona was a research assistant at the U. of Michigan Institute for Social Research and while there co-authored a book, Youth in Transition.
Ilona was very athletic and especially enjoyed winter skiing and swimming, boating, and waterskiing at the family cabin on White Lake and on the lake she lived on for many years near Ann Arbor. She also played the accordion and for many years was a member of the national award winning Accordionaires.
Ilona was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Sylvia Wirtanen. She is survived by her sister, Dona Holloway, and her nieces, Irene and Lisa, and 2 grand nephews and one grand niece.
Her sister thanks the kindly caregivers who supported Ilona in her final years. Per Ilona’s wishes there will be no service. Her family will gather for a private celebration of life at a later date.