Presbytera Helja Inkeri (Ruotsalainen) Shin Herranen, age 81, of Amesbury, MA, formerly of Downers Grove, IL, passed away July 18, 2021 with her family at her side. She was the beloved wife of 16 years to the late Esko Herranen, and beloved wife of 31 years to the late Rev. Fr. Pavlos Shin, a Greek Orthodox Priest. Born in Finland, on May 6, 1940, she was the daughter of the late Raisa Rehvonen and the late Onni Ruotsalainen. This was a time of war and upheaval, she saw her home burned to the ground and her family had to flee as refugees, with the war taking her Father and leaving her Mother, Raisa, to raise three children. Inkeri persevered and gained admission to Helsinki University. While on a work study program in Switzerland, she met her future husband, Pavlos Shin. She fell in love, followed her heart, and left the University, eventually moving to Athens, Greece. She was a graduate of Rosary College and Elmhurst University. Inkeri, as she was known by many, was fluent in six languages, Finnish, Swedish, Greek, Russian, German and English. She was an essential member of the Lions Clubs International translation department until her retirement in 2004. Her work with the Lions Clubs took her to numerous countries which left her indelible memories. She was a member of Lions Clubs in Chicago, Finland, and Amesbury, MA. She loved to travel, was an avid reader, and an active member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Newburyport, MA. She was an accomplished cook and baker and had an affinity for Greek cuisine. Inkeri was a devoted wife and Mother who in later years cherished the companionship of her cat, Samwise. She valued her independence throughout her life and will be missed greatly. Inkeri is survived by three sons and a daughter, Gabriel Shin of Oakland, CA, Raphael and Michael Shin both of Evanston, IL and Mariamne (Christofer Krueger) Shin of Haverhill, MA; two brothers, Pekka (Ulla) Ruotsalainen of Tampere, Finland and Seppo (Sulli) Ruotsalainen of Turku, Finland, along with extended family, and many dear friends from near and far. Family and friends will be received at the Conboy-Westchester Funeral Home, 10501 W. Cermak Rd., Westchester on Saturday, July 24, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. until time of Chapel Service 12:00 noon. Interment Chapel Hill Gardens West Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Vision Fund of Lions Clubs International or Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 7 Harris St., Newburyport, MA 01950. Arrangements entrusted to Chris J. Balodimas, Funeral Director. For info 708-F-U-N-E-R-A-L.
Published by Chicago Tribune on Jul. 22, 2021.