Elaine Lempi Charlotte Tikka Lillback, went home to be with the Lord whom she loved on Wednesday evening, August 19, 2015, at Ames Family Hospice House, Westlake, Ohio.
Elaine was born on March 5, 1924, in Perry, Ohio to John Tikka and Lempi Sironen Tikka and graduated in 1942 from Perry High School. While attending Perry High School, she served as a Senior Class officer, was a member of the Glee Club, the Scholarship Club, and received the Silver P Award. Mrs. Lillback was inducted into the PHS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame on September 24, 2011.
A lifelong learner, Elaine attended Northern Baptist Seminary, The Ohio State University, Judson College, Bowling Green State University, Lake Erie College, Kent State University, and John Carroll University. She earned a BA and MA in Elementary Education and Special Education. She shared her love of learning with students as an elementary school teacher for Painesville, Chardon, and Willo-Hill Christian Schools. She did missionary work in Canada, Finland, Spain, and Africa and has traveled extensively. She enjoyed success as a writer, authoring four books chronicling Finnish American History. Her last book, They Came for Coffee, is a story about her family and other Finns in the United States. A talented watercolor artist, she has illustrated her own books. Her passion for her Finnish heritage, the books she has authored and her volunteer and leadership efforts at the Finnish Heritage Museum led to her induction into the museum's Hall of Fame in 2009.
She married Eugene Richard Lillback on April 19, 1948. Elaine was a member of Calvary Fellowship Baptist Church, a Sunday School teacher and Ladies Bible Study teacher, and a resident of Concord Township for 50 years. Her many years of service led to a Special Award for Service by the Concord Township Trustees on her 90th Birthday.
Mrs. Lillback is survived by her three sons, Larry G. Lillback (Miriam McElhaney Lillback), Dr. Peter A. Lillback (Debra Harris Lillback), and Douglas C. Lillback; grandchildren, Daniel (Chelsea) Lillback, Cara-Beth Lillback, Mrs. Sarah (Shaun) Hazel, and Mrs. Priscilla (Duncan) Edwards; five great-grandchildren: Keira Rose Lillback, Tyler John Lillback, Scarlett Rebecca Edwards, Ashlynn Rose Lillback, and Nolan Shaun Hazel; sister-in-law, Mrs. Laurene (Eino) Lillback; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Esco and Ruth Lillback, and nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Lillback was preceded in death by her beloved husband in 1986; sisters and brothers-in-law, Irene Juudi (Hank) Wanska, Irma Tikka (Kenneth) Wheeler, and Eloise Tikka (Ero) Visti, and Eino Lillback.
The family would like to thank Hospice of the Western Reserve, Ames Family Hospice House of Westlake, and First Light Home Care for their kind and loving care.
A celebration of her life will be held onSaturday, August 22, 2015, at eleven o’clock AM at Calvary Fellowship Baptist Church, 727 Mentor Avenue, Painesville, Ohio, with Pastor Doug Reeder of Calvary Fellowship Baptist Church officiating. The family will receive guests one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Painesville. If desired, contributions in lieu of flowers may be made in Elaine’s memory to Calvary Fellowship Baptist Church 727 Mentor Avenue, Painesville, Ohio 44077.
Arrangements are being handled by Potti Funeral Homes