Shirley Anne Hoeksema of Richland, MI
Shirley, age 92, died peacefully with her loving family at her side on Saturday evening, October 21, 2023 at the North Woods Village in Kalamazoo.
Shirley, the daughter of Don and Mary "Missouri" (Powell) Thayer, was born in Kalamazoo on November 5, 1930. She was a lifetime area resident and graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1949. Shirley worked for several years as a beautician at MJ Rumors Salon and then dedicated more than 20 years volunteering her services at the Salvation Army in Battle Creek. Through her efforts with the Salvation Army, Shirley received the Battle Creek Enquirer's George Award and was also recognized as the Salvation Army Volunteer of the Year.
Shirley absolutely loved being in the kitchen, cooking and baking, and was a founding member of a Gourmet Cooking Club with her many friends. She was also an incredible seamstress, and made several Halloween costumes, which her family will always cherish. Shirley also loved to travel, especially trips with her grandchildren and many friends. An "Energizer Bunny", Shirley was always very social, ready to entertain and enjoy a "Good Party".
A true Matriarch, Shirley's love for her family was beyond measure. Her true passion in life was her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, teaching them everything she could about cooking, baking and sewing.
Shirley married the "Love of Her Life", Howard Norman Hoeksema in Kalamazoo on November 3, 1950; he sadly preceded her in death on January 16, 2016. Surviving are her four sons, Steven H. (Kathryn) Hoeksema of Mt. Pleasant, Michael L. (Sally) Hoeksema of Delton, Dan T. (Jennifer) Hoeksema of Richland, and Ronald A. (Michele) Hoeksema of North Carolina; eleven precious grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; her sister, Joyce (Bill) Spencer of Richland; and her brother, John (Nancy) Thayer of Pennsylvania. Shirley was also preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Russ and Lloyd Thayer; and two sisters, Helen "Sis" Holoway and Mary Slaybaugh.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the staff at North Woods Village for the love and wonderful care they gave to Shirley.
A Celebration of Life Service for Shirley will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 28th at the Gull Lake United Methodist Church, 8640 Gull Road, Richland, MI 49083 with family receiving friends from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Private, family interment will be in Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Shirley's honor may be directed to Centrica Care Navigators (Hospice), The Salvation Army of Battle Creek or the Gull Lake United Methodist Church. Arrangements by the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel. Personal messages for the family and favorite memories of Shirley may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.