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Hilja Parts (Samarüütel), 96, died peacefully at home in Crystal Lake. She was born November 5, 1921, in Tartu, Estonia, to Marie and Eduard Samarüütel.
Hilja grew up in Võru, Estonia, and attended Tartu University until WWII disrupted her education. She taught grade school in Meremäe, Estonia, for 2 years before fleeing the country in 1944. She and her mother spent several years in Germany in a Displaced Persons camp, where she met her husband, August Parts. They were able to immigrate to the United States in October, 1949 and settled in Crystal Lake in 1950.
She worked at Singer/Eaton and raised three daughters. Hilja was active in Estonian cultural activities, particularly the Chicago Estonian Choir, which she directed for many years. In her retirement years, she loved gardening, painting, reading and music.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, August Parts; her brother, Jaan Samarüütel, and her grandson, Sean Tobin.
Hilja is survived by her daughters, Anu L. Parts, Linda Remus and Leili Parts; her granddaughter, Briana Tobin; her great-grandchildren, Chloe and Ian; and her niece, Anu Samarüütel-Long (Chris); her sister-in-law, Ly Samarüütel; and her cousins in Estonia.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, March 14 from 11 a.m. with prayers at 1:00 p.m. at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 419 E Terra Cotta Ave (Rt. 176) Crystal Lake.
Donations may be made in Hilja’s memory to the Estonian American National Council, Inc. by visiting http://www.estosite.org