The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Shirley Mae (Mallgren) Ahola


SUPERIOR, Wis. - Shirley M. Ahola, 97, a long-time resident of Wakefield, Mich., passed away peacefully early Tuesday morning, March 14, 2017, surrounded by loved ones at Twin Ports Health Services in Superior.

Shirley was born on March 1, 1920, in Wakefield, a daughter of William and Mabel (Johnson) Mallgren.

On Oct. 18, 1941, she married the love of her life, Jacob Simon Ahola. They were married for more than 45 years.

Shirley had a gift of making everyone feel cared for and her laugh was infectious. Being ever patient, kind and full of God's grace, your faith in humanity and the human spirit was rejuvenated after spending time with Shirley.

She was an active member of All Saints Lutheran Church in Wakefield. She enjoyed teaching Sunday School at All Saints for 27 years, belonged to a church circle, volunteered at the church helping with the Spirelights and changed paraments for the altar for many years.

Shirley gave back to her community by being a 4-H leader and taught many children to sew and earn their badges.

She loved to ski, dance, swim, read, sew and cook.

At Mt. Joy, a small mining ski hill in Wakefield, Shirley taught many children how to ski. She would take the smaller children who could not reach the tow rope up the hill hanging onto her knees to the first landing. One by one, the children would stand in line at the bottom of the hill and wait their turn for her to bring them up, help them down, and then take the next child up. This could continue throughout the ski day making her own children wait in line showing them the importance of patience, taking turns and sharing their mom.

"Mrs. Alola," as some of the children at Central School in Wakefield would call her, always had the band-aids in the elementary school office where she worked as a secretary for 12 years. All of the children at that school were considered her kids - and they were treated as such.

Shirley and her beloved husband, "Father Jack," would clear many a dance floor with their dancing and rarely missed a song. She loved to watch football with her family and was a true Packer Backer.

Shirley is survived by her three children, Rebecca "Becky" Schlais, Wakefield, Mary Jane Olson (Kenneth), Solon Springs, and Billy Jack Ahola (Loretta), Manitowoc; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; her brother-in-law and sister-in-law; nieces and nephews; and great-nieces and great nephews. Also surviving are many children and adults who called her grandma and loved her dearly.

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband; all of her sisters and brothers; and other relatives and beloved friends.

In accordance with Shirley's wishes, cremation has taken place.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 18, at noon, preceded by visitation at 11 a.m., at All Saints Lutheran Church, 1202 Putnam St., in Wakefield, with the Rev. Bill Jacobson officiating.

Luncheon will follow in the church fellowship hall.

The family would like to thank the wonderful, loving staff at Twin Ports Health Services for all their caring support and kindness. You are angels sent to us when we needed you most. All the kind words, and hugs, and kisses shared by you with Shirley, our beloved mom, were so very much appreciated by her and by all her family. We would also like to acknowledge the professional hospice team at the Essentia Health in Duluth, Minn. Your visits were very healing.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at


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