SMITH, SHIRLEY J.
Of Portage, MI
Shirley Jean Smith passed away June 12, 2019 at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence, Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was born June 5,1927 in Caledonia, Michigan, the oldest daughter of Larry and Ila (VanDusen) Rands.
On September 2, 1950, Shirley was united in marriage to James Stewart Smith, who preceded her in death on March 31, 2009. She was also preceded in death by her parents; and siblings, Patricia Bartholomew, Beverly Miner, and Bill Rands. She is survived by her daughter, Jaryl (Jay) Day; Shirley's greatest joy, Missie Kae, her loyal, loving rescued grandbeagle; and "Family", Greg and Marsha Moyle without whom Shirley could not have remained at home so long, with Hospice support, safely.
While attending Kalamazoo Central High School, Shirley worked as hostess at Schensul's Cafeteria in downtown Kalamazoo and following graduation worked in a variety of offices bookkeeping. In 1956 she "retired" as Office Manager for area Labor Unions to raise her family. Jim and Shirley built a cabin on a small lake in Lake County, Michigan, where they and their children spent many happy times. Lots of laughs and fun, until it became necessary in 2005 to sell. Shirley's dream had always been to be a clothing designer, which although she'd received a scholarship, was not to be. She was also a fine watercolor artist right up to the last few years.
Shirley was a fighter, giver, hard worker, and caring to a fault - she was my Mom. She gave her heart, loyalty, and love at times when she sacrificed too much of herself. No daughter could be prouder than this one of all her Mom did for others, all she accomplished despite health challenges and pain, and her smile was always tucked close.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rose Arbor Hospice Residence or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, with thanks to Karen, RN/Case Manager; Anna, Aide; and JoAnn, Social Worker. Also, a special thanks to Debbie and Charlene, HCSWM Respite Volunteers who spent many hours sharing, chatting, and just listening... Thank you for all of your kindnesses. At Mom's request, there will be no visitation or service; cremation has taken place and she will be interred at a private burial alongside her husband at Ft. Custer. An informal gathering to share memories of Shirley is planned for later.
Arrangements by Langeland Family Funeral Homes. Please visit Shirley's personalized guest book at https://www.langelands.com
Donations may be made to:
Rose Arbor Hospice Residence
222 North Kalamazoo Mall Suite 100, Kalamazoo MI 49007
Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
Kalamazoo MI 49007