Shirley Duryea

September 18, 1939 - September 6, 2017
Otsego, MI



Monday, September 11, 2017
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Plainwell Location
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-5881
Driving Directions


Tuesday, September 12, 2017
1:00 PM EDT
Allegan United Methodist Church
409 Trowbridge St.
Allegan, MI 49010
(269) 672-4236
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.

Allegan United Methodist Church
409 Trowbridge St
Allegan, MI 49010
(269) 673-4236
Web Site

Allegan County Medical Care Community
3265 122nd Avenue
Allegan, MI 49010
(269) 673-2102
Web Site


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

Plainwell Flowers
117 S. Main
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-8055
Driving Directions
Web Site

River Rose
(269) 692-3951

Life Story / Obituary


Shirley Duryea always possessed the gift of making her appearance and everything that surrounded her crisp and in its place. She had a knack for perfectionism right down to the clothes she chose to wear, as she was always polished and put together donning pristine outfits. She was also blessed with an incredible sense of humor and a great appreciation of her family and loved ones. Throughout her lifetime, she was a dear wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Her place in our lives will be forever missed.

When Shirley started her life, the world was bracing itself as WWII began, and the nation felt the responsibility to roll up their sleeves and help the war efforts. It was also a time in which amazing advancements were introduced: the first transatlantic passenger service - flying from New York to England. People found hope and distraction with the release of the film, "Gone With the Wind."

All the while, Earl & Addie (Weston) Robinson were also looking for hope and joy which was found when they welcomed their precious daughter, Shirley, to the world. She was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on September 18, 1939.

Shirley's childhood was spent in Plainwell while her parents worked hard at their Corner Lunch restaurant in Kalamazoo. She was the second child welcomed by her big brother, Lewis. Soon, however, they also welcomed Frankie and Betty to complete the family. She created many school memories growing up and through the 8th grade in the Plainwell Public Schools at which point she decided to help in the family restaurant.

In the midst of her adolescent years, she met Bob Dines and fell head over heels for him. The two were married in 1955. In 1956, they welcomed their first daughter Debbie into the family. Later they spent a year in Idaho while Bob was in the military. The couple came back to Michigan and lived in Cooper where Lyn and Vickey were born. Her family looked forward to the delicious meals Shirley would make, as she was a great cook. Her love for being in the kitchen was reflected in her lasagna and roast beef dinners which warmed bellies on cold Michigan evenings. Not to be missed, Shirley's strawberry pie and pumpkin ice cream pie always made mouths water. Shirley was also involved in her children's extracurricular activities and even became a scout leader.

When the family needed some rest and relaxation, they often traveled up north to their property in Dublin. In time, it became clear that Shirley needed a change in her life's direction. Shirley and Bob went their separate ways after their divorce in 1985. This was also around the time when Shirley changed jobs as Shakespeare closed down. She found a kitchen position working in Allegan Street Elementary Schools in Otsego.

Once her new path in life was settled, her heart was open to the idea of love once again. Through a blind date set up by a mutual friend, Shirley met Doug. She was able to see beyond his inability to pop popcorn without burning it on their first date. He redeemed himself in time, and before long, the two decided to get married. On August 15, 1987, they became Mr. and Mrs. Doug and Shirley Duryea. Their love was everlasting, and Shirley held her commitment dearly for 30 years until she passed.

With this union later in their lives, each side gained wonderful and new family members. Shirley welcomed Jerri, Raymond, and Sarah into her life. She was also given the gift of the memories of sweet Benjamin who passed away at 6 months old, before Shirley had the chance to meet him. Shirley loved spending holiday time with family, and now she had even more loved ones to share in the magic of the season.

Between the two of them, Doug and Shirley amassed huge grandchildren potential. They joyfully celebrated the gift of 13 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren. Shirley was very active in their lives attending their various sporting events and activities. Everyone knew that they could count on her because Shirley made it a point to always be there for them.

Though Shirley spent much of her time with family, she also took time for herself with many personal interests. She often had a project going with either quilting or some sort of craft or ceramic. She enjoyed decorating and tending to her beautiful flower gardens (on which she often reminded Drew and others to avoid stepping on them!).

Shirley had quite a social life as well. She loved to play cards with friends, and she had plenty of friends due to her outgoing nature. Thankfully she had a good sense of humor which came in handy when she persisted playing golf even though she was terrifically bad at the game. She was better on the softball field playing for her church league.

She and Doug made great memories together throughout the years. They spent many cold winter months at their place in Florida. They also flew to Hawaii, Germany, and Trinidad. They traveled by boat sailing on many cruises and also by train taking trips with rails and trails.

When Shirley was closer to home, she welcomed the cuddle of animals. Zane the dog and Mewezette the cat always had a special place in her heart. She leaves behind her sweet Mitsy too, who provided great companionship. When she needed some spiritual reflection, she sought out time at church which she came to later in her life. She was actively involved and eventually, her passion helped Doug's faith grow as well.

After 77 years in this lifetime, Shirley passed away on September 6, 2017, at Bronson Hospital. Her zest for life and her remarkable ability to find the joy in life were always inspirational. We will hold the memories we shared with Shirley close to our hearts, and we will never forget her.

Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Monday, September 11 from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 S. Woodhams St. (260 685-5881). A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, September 12 at 1:00 at the Allegan United Methodist Church; 409 Trowbridge St, Allegan, MI 49010.

Shirley’s family includes her husband of 30 years, Doug; her children: Debbie (Tom) Benzie, Raymond Duryea, Lyn (Charlie) Shumaker, Sarah (Eddie) Burgen and Vickey (Kevin) Christopher; 13 grandchildren; 28 great grandchildren; her brother Frank Robinson; as well as several nieces and nephews and her dog Mitsy.

She was preceded in death by her parents and Doug’s parents Vivian and Ralph Duryea; her siblings: Lewis, Betty, and Phil; children: Jerri, Claire, and Benjamin.

Memorial donations can be made to the Allegan United Methodist Church or the Allegan County Medical Community.