Shirley Hirschenberger

May 22, 1938 - May 13, 2016
Traverse City, MI



Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT
Gilbert Lodge at Twin Lakes Park
6800 North Long Lake Road
Traverse City, MI 49684

An informal reception will follow with family and friends from 3pm to 6pm.

Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Bayliss Public Library
541 Library Dr.
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
(906) 632-9331

Donation forms are available on their website or at the memorial celebration.

Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Cherryland Floral
1208 S. Garfield
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 941-5761
Driving Directions
Web Site

Flower Station
341 W. Front St.
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 946-1742
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Shirley Mae Hirschenberger, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, passed away just shy of her 78th birthday on May 13, 2016 in Tampa, Florida after complications from surgery. Shirley was born to Paul Adrian and Mary Irene (Buell) Vernon on May 22, 1938 in Flint, Michigan. She was raised on a farm in Flushing, Michigan, and graduated in 1956 from Flushing High School, where she was named the homecoming fair queen. She attended Central Michigan University (CMU), where she met the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Hirschenberger. She was active in the Delta Zeta Sorority, the CMU marching band and graduated with a Bachelor of Library Sciences degree in 1960. She later completed her Master of Media Sciences degree in 1966 from CMU.

On September 5, 1959 Bob and Shirley were married in Flushing at the Central United Methodist church. They then moved to Sault Ste. Marie in August of 1960 to begin their life together, raising three children together. Shirley was an English/French teacher and junior high librarian for the Sault Public Schools. She also enjoyed teaching evening adult education. In 1970 she took the position of catalog librarian for Lake Superior State University. In 1973, she began working at Bayliss Public Library in Sault St. Marie, and served as the media specialist and regional coordinator of the Hiawathaland Library Cooperative for the Eastern Upper Peninsula. She finished her career as a public librarian, retiring in 1996. Shirley made many lifelong friends while living in the Sault for thirty eight years through teaching, bridge club, Lakeshore neighborhood and Central United Methodist Church.

After retirement, Shirley and Bob traveled to Alaska and throughout the United States for several years, settling in Traverse City in 1998 to be near their grandsons. She took great pleasure in attending her grandsons’ games, concerts and events. She enjoyed golfing in the women’s golf league at Bay Meadows and volunteering for Long Lake library and the Red Cross.

She is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Robert; son Rob Hirschenberger, daughters Julie (Kevin) Ringwelski and Wendy (Glen) Trute; grandsons Scott, Kyle and Eric Ringwelski; sisters Patricia (Grover) Niergarth and Nancy (Ed) Hirschenberger; brother John Vernon, sister-in-laws Irene Coburn and Mary Vernon; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Irene Vernon.

Shirley was smart, witty, nurturing, strong willed, and had an infectious sense of humor. She was non-judgmental and warm, making everyone around her feel special. She made friends easily and once you were her friend you were her friend for life. She was competitive and loved to play Bridge, Cribbage, Scrabble, and was affectionately referred to as “Ruthless” by her grandsons, whom she often beat in Monopoly. She was an avid reader and either a book, magazine or Kindle were always within reach. She was a die-hard Lions fan, and only swore when watching them play.

A celebration of her life will take place from 2pm to 3pm on Sunday, May 29, at Gilbert Lodge, Twin Lakes Park in Traverse City, followed by an informal reception with family and friends from 3pm to 6pm. Per her wishes, cremation has taken place.

Memorial contributions may be made to Bayliss Public Library, 541 Library Drive, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 in memory of Shirley. Donation forms are available on their website or at the memorial celebration.

Please visit Shirley’s webpage at www.lifestorytc.com and share thoughts and memories with the family. The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City.