Marianna Wyka Milajecki was born Oct. 5, 1946, in Poland into a farming family. She has two younger sisters, Janina, of Poland, Ohio, and Danka, who remains in Poland.
She graduated from college in 1968 with a teaching degree, and she taught the Russian language to high school students. It was a difficult time in Communist Poland. Among the many difficulties she faced was not being free to practice her Catholic faith without fear of reprisal. She rode a bus two hours each way on Sundays to attend mass in a distant town where she hoped she would not be recognized, as she loved the teaching profession as well and did not want to lose her job.
She met her husband, Pete, in Poland while he was visiting family there in 1975. They married in 1976 and she immigrated to the United States, settling into a home in Wellsville.
In September 1977, Marianna gave birth to her son, Thomas. The following year, in November, a daughter, Anna was born. Shortly thereafter, Pete became ill with terminal heart disease and died November 1979, leaving her with two babies, alone in a country where she did not speak the language.
In 1990, Mrs. Milajecki began to take college courses at Kent State East Liverpool. After successfully completing the coursework there, she took additional classes at Franciscan University and completed the required classes to earn her teaching license in this country.
After substitute teaching at area schools, in the fall of 1994, she began teaching at St. Aloysius full-time. There, in the past two decades, she has shared with many students her love of religion and of the English language.
She has been featured in The Review as a spotlight story in the community section and has been awarded the Golden Apple teaching award for the region's best teachers. She also has won the Lou Holtz “I Believe in YOUth” grant for six consecutive years. She has served as an RCIA teacher, a eucharistic minister, and a CCD teacher during this time at her parish. Retired from St. Aloysius in 2013, she is an active substitute teacher for several schools in the area.