Eugene Nicholas Hadjisky, 93, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 at 5:31 p.m., just as the sun was beginning to set. He was at peace, at home, with his wife and his son beside him.
Gene, or "Hadj," was born Aug. 13, 1924 in Birmingham the son of Joseph Nicholas Hadjisky and Elizabeth "Libby" (Appleby) Hadjisky. On Aug. 4, 1962 he married Maryellen (Gould), who survives.
Hadj enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve after high school. He trained at Alma College, served aboard minesweepers in the American theater and attained the rank of Lieutenant, JG. He was "headed for Tokyo" when the war ended. Under the GI Bill, he attended Wayne State University.
He became a senior mechanical engineer at Giffels Associates of Detroit and Southfield. Hadj was especially proud of his work on a closed-loop water purification system for IBM in East Fishkill, New York, and a uranium processing project in Paducah, Kentucky.
He supported Rotary International, served on the Leland Township sewer commission and founded the Leland Gleaners.
Hadj and Maryellen retired in 1990 to Northill, their Lake Michigan home in Leland.
He and Maryellen met at an engineers picnic in Birmingham. A year later in 1962 they were married at the Leland Methodist Church by a moccasin-wearing, Unitarian Universalist minister. With a memorable reception at the Leland Country Club, Hadj became a golfer by marriage.
They raised their only son, John, in Grosse Pointe and spent every summer in Leland. He loved cooking and carving at the Leland Yacht Club's annual Bar-be-cruise. He loved Leelanau County, especially the rows of orchard trees as they span the uneven hills.
The son of immigrants from Yorkshire, England, and Sofia, Bulgaria, Hadj was a life-long Unitarian Universalist.
He was an unassuming man, kind, interested and open to all manner of diversity in friends and occasions. Maryellen's "silent soldier" beat cancer once, and with quiet strength outlasted all the predictions for the second cancer.
Hadj is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Maryellen; his son, John Hadjisky; and many nieces and nephews in the U.S., England and Bulgaria.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his elder sister, Margaret "Peggy" (Tom) Muzik; and his twin sister, Joan (Bill) Boniface.
Cremation has taken place. Burial at Beechwood Cemetery, Leland, and a memorial on or near his birthday, Aug. 13, will be announced at a later date.
Memorials may be directed to the Suttons Bay Rotary Club, PO Box 45, Suttons Bay, MI 49682 in support of their Youth Exchange and International Service programs.
Condolences and memories may be shared with Hadj's family at https://hadj.lelander.net/.
Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Leelanau.
Published on March 14, 2018