November 20, 2014

Lily Hajj

Lily 2-001LILY HAJJ, 93 of Lincoln, formerly of Highland Park, MI, entered eternal life on Nov. 19, 2014, peacefully at home surrounded by family.  Born April 4, 1921, daughter of John and Esther (Ostenrud) Matson, on the family farm northeast of Battleview, ND.

Lily was raised on the farm, attended country school, and went on to graduate high school.  As a young woman, she left the area in hopes of finding employment; she lived in Minneapolis and worked for Northwest Airlines – then moved on to Detroit, working at Park-Davis Pharmaceuticals.

She later married Saleem (Sam) Hajj making a home in Highland Park, MI.  Sam passed away suddenly in Nov. 1962.  She did not remarry; instead focused her attention on her two daughters and their education (Sylvia Hajj (Sabo) and Dr. Kathryn Hajj (Bree)) while also maintaining Sam’s busy coffee shop/restaurant.

She loved people, enjoyed friendships, and was passionate about her faith in God.  Lily had a thirst for life and loved travel, culture and education.  With her daughters, she traveled to Rome and ventured to Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Greece and Turkey.

Her loving family includes:  daughters, Sylvia (Jesse) Sabo of Prescott, MI, Dr. Kathryn (Cory Bree) Hajj of Lincoln, NE; grandchildren, Christian (Natasha), Jeannine, David, and Jason Sabo and Isabelle Bree; brothers, Calvin Matson of Damascas, OR, and Willard Matson of Devils Lake, ND; and Betsy (Palmer) Bakken of Fargo, ND.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Sat. Nov. 22 at Cathedral of the Risen Christ, 3500 Sheridan Blvd., Lincoln with a Visitation from 6:00 – 8:00 pm (Rosary 7 pm) on Fri. Nov. 21 at Wyuka Funeral Home, 3600 “O” Street, Lincoln.  Memorials may be made to Cathedral of Risen Christ deity for the education of young priests.


  1. Sylvia,
    We were very sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. It sounds as if she had a long live. Our thoughts are with all of the family.
    Sincerely, Jack & Patt

  2. To Lily’s daughters-My thoughts are with you at this very difficult time. I met your mom in Memphis when she came down for Elvis Week with a group of Joe Hall/Elvis fans. I lost my mom just a few years ago and she was close to your mom’s age, my mom having been born in 1925. I felt she was a kindred spirit and we spent some time talking, and she told me the story of her wonderful and adventurous life. She spoke highly of both of you and it was easy to sense how proud she was of you. From our brief meeting, I got a sense that she lived life to its fullest. Please accept my condolences. She was a wonderful woman.

    Penny Schmuecker
    Lincoln, NE

  3. Sylvia and Kathy–so sorry for the loss of your mom. You and your families are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Janet and Carl Kuebler


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