Waataja, Shirley Arlene 85

Shirley Arlene Waataja, age 85, passed away surrounded by her family at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids on November 16, 2023.

Shirley was born June 22, 1938 in French Lake Township to Raymond & Ailie (Bajari) Karie.

She attended French Lake Country School and Annandale High School where she graduated with the class of 1956.

On May 3rd, 1958 she married Paul Waataja with whom she recently celebrated 65 years of marriage. They made their home south of French Lake Corners and raised their family there.

Shirley worked a variety of jobs but found her passion doing home health care as an aide and continued there up to retirement.

Shirley & Paul took many road trips across the country. They also liked to camp and spent the last 29 years of summer weekends at Sherwood Forest near Mille Lacs Lake where she had many friends and relatives. She was an avid Twins fan and loved her furry companions she had throughout the years.

Shirley very much enjoyed the fellowship she had within her church community as well. Above all she loved her family and will forever be missed by them.

She is survived by her husband Paul, daughter Lori (Rolf Hogan), sons Jeff & John Waataja, grandchildren Michael (MacKenzie), Emily (Nick Faber), great-grandchildren Lola & Mikko Waataja. Bonus family: Derek, Erika, Dylan, Evan, Kate, Hank, Riley & Darby Hogan.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Leslie, Milo (Shirley), Melvin (Judy) & Roland Karie.

Services will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at Kingston Apostolic Lutheran Church, with visitation one hour prior to service.