OBITUARY

Mary Illitch

December 26, 1933September 17, 2020
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Mary Illitch, loving wife and mother passed away September 17, 2020, at age 86.

Mary was born, raised, and married Vassili in Alexandria, Egypt. At age 23, Mary and Vassili made a bold decision to move to Akron, Ohio, in search of a safe, wonderful place to start a family and receive their college educations. They raised two sons, Alex and Paul. Mary received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Akron. During her 41 year career as a teacher and counselor at Akron Public Schools, she received numerous awards, but her greatest satisfaction was seeing former students lead successful lives. Any encounter with Mary brought a joyful dose of energy and inspiration. You could see a special sparkle in her eye when she saw someone she loved, a friend, or a past student. She was a bright light and strong voice that encouraged everyone to get an education and reach their potential, especially those less fortunate. Many of her teaching colleagues became her closest life-long friends. Mary’s greatest joy became her only grandson, Alex. All you had to do was ask about him, if you had a couple of hours. She was most proud and happy in her post-retirement years when she was able to spend time with him. Mary’s passion was celebrating every occasion in someone’s life. She brightened the day for someone every chance she could, and never forgot to send them a card. Mary’s love of travel helped feed her sense of adventure, intellect and curiosity.

Mary is survived by her husband Vassili; sons Alex (Nancy); Paul (Los Angeles); and beloved grandson Alex Patrick. She was an only child, but shared her life with the Illitch siblings: Leppa (Mike) Stakleff; Luby (Larry) Wojno; Dani (Bob) Pett. She loved her first cousins as if they were siblings: Stam and George Houlachi (Quebec). Mary also loved her step-grandchild Michael (Alli) Bimuller, as well as her family of nieces and nephews. She was a proud Godmother to Krista Stakleff, Alexandra Nicholis Coon, and Mary Nicholis Lorenzo.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Mary’s name and sent to: Project Rise/Akron Reads; Akron Public Schools; 10 N. Main Street; Akron, OH 44308

A socially distanced walk through visitation hour will begin at 12:00 pm on Friday, September 25th at the Rose Hill Funeral Home 3653 W. Market St. Akron OH 44333, followed by a brief service at 1:00 pm. COVID-19 protocols will be in place with social distancing and facial coverings

LIVE STREAMING of Funeral Service will begin 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the Service at 1:00 PM. To view click on the words below in the Funeral Service block "JOIN LIVESTREAM"

  • DONATIONS

  • Project Rise/Akron Reads

Services

  • Walk-thru Visitation

    Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, September 25, 2020

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Memories

Mary Illitch

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David Klesic

October 8, 2020

Sorry to hear this news. I got to meet Mary last year at St. Thomas after liturgy at coffee hour. It was a pleasure to sit and talk to her. God bless her and her family.

Lubitsa Wojno

September 25, 2020

Mary and Vassili in Washington, DC, May 1997, celebrating the graduations of niece Milena and nephew Marc Wojno from The George Washington University.

Lubitsa Wojno

September 25, 2020

My Eulogy for Mary S. Illitch
By Lubitsa Illitch Wojno (sister-in-law)

It is vital, a must, for me to express My Eulogy for my beloved sister-in-law Mary S. Illitch, who came into our family’s life to enrich and brighten our ways.

It is with great sorrow and grief that I learned of her passing away so unexpectedly when I believed that her great charisma and love of life would shine on among us forever. She exuded a warmth and welcomed all in her life.

Before she married my brother Vassili, she came to my Scottish School for Girls in Alexandria, Egypt. She lived with her parents and grandmother of Greek origin, went to Greek school and transferred to our private school. I was eight years old and got to see her in our playground where she always smiled and energetically mingled with her classmates in the upper grades. Little did I know then that she would be part of our family. When she graduated and continued her studies in college nearby, she decided to be a teacher in our St. Andrews Boys Elementary School. For my brother, a student in college and working as secretary at the same school where he met Mary, it was love at first sight!

A great love grew between Mary and Vassili and their marriage soon followed. Shortly after their marriage, Mary and Vassili embarked on their life’s destination: Akron, Ohio, USA. It was there that their marriage grew with greater devotion in a family of two children – loving Alex and Paul – and later with the addition of Alex’s family with wife Nancy and stepson Michael, and Alex’s and Nancy’s son Alex Patrick. Her cousins, Stam and George moved to Canada, too. What a great life Mary had with a celebration of 60-plus years of marriage.

Mary was a loving wife and mother to her family, a great educator, and a true sister to me – respected and loved always and will be remembered so, in Christ. She will be sorely missed. May her memory be eternal.

With love,
Lubitsa Illitch Wojno (wife of Larry Wojno and mother of Milena and Marc)

George Houlachi

September 25, 2020

Mary was like a sister, always caring and full of energy and vitality. She will be dearly missed.
I will miss her phone calls and chatting about good memories when we were young.
She left us too soon. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Please keep in touch.
George and Murielle

Stam Houlachi

September 25, 2020

She was really a very special person. She was a clever, affectionate, open minded with a big heart and understanding person.
She was my older and only cousin but in fact she was like my older sister and confidant to me.
To Vassili, Alex and all the family, we send you our deepest thoughts and support.
We are here to keep the contact with you like I was doing it with Mary during all those years since 1968.
Stam

Sally and Robert Tankersley

September 25, 2020

Mary was our wonderful neighbor for the past 14 years. She was such a kind and caring person. It was always such a joy to talk with her, sharing stories about our lives and the lives of our families. You always were reminded what season it was when driving by their home. Mary always had the windows beautifully decorated for the occasion. She was full of love for life. We loved Mary so much and words cannot describe how much we will miss her.

Sara Velie

September 24, 2020

Mary was one in a million. Kind, funny, a little mischievous...all the things I look for in a great person! She was almost like a surrogate grandparent as I always looked forward to our chats at family gatherings over the years. She was so delighted in hearing about everyone’s lives, holding the new babies, laughing as we made fun of each other, and being a part of the family. She is so very missed and will not be forgotten!

We feel so blessed to have known her!

Stakleff Family

September 23, 2020

Stakleff family

September 23, 2020

Stakleff family

September 23, 2020

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Brandon hugging Aunt Mary

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

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