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Life Story / Obituary
With a smile that thoroughly warmed the hearts that loved her best, Vicki Ann (Liscovec) Shearer lived her life rich in family and friends. Hardworking, passionate, and persevering, Vicki embraced each day as a gift. A devoted wife, sister, and aunt, Vicki understood that the measure of one’s life is the quality of the relationships they share with others. With an enthusiasm that could electrify, Vicki inspired many. A treasure to all, Vicki will long be held in the hearts of those she loved.
1953 marked the end of the Korean War, and the nation began to lean into a much welcomed time of peace. The year proved to hold exciting firsts; the polio vaccine was developed, the first color television sets, transistor radios, and Corvette cars were on sale, while the first James Bond novel made its debut and Peter Pan, From Here to Eternity and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes filled the theaters. The middle-class standard of living continued to grow and appeared to have no boundaries; it was definitely a time of much hope. Nowhere was there greater cause to celebrate the possibilities of hope than in Kalamazoo, Michigan as Frank and Virginia Liskovec welcomed their daughter Vicki into their hearts and home on October 23rd.
Growing up in Galesburg during the 50s and 60s, Vicki enjoyed the security and loving home her hardworking parents provided for her and her brothers, Dennis and John. While her father provided for the family working his small business, Frank’s Auto Repair, Vicki’s mother helped support them through her work as his bookkeeper and by running the home.
Never one to be thwarted by adversity, even at an early age Vicki knew how to tend to her needs. Once as a youth when her a neighborhood kid took her broom Vicki marched next door, snatched it back, and triumphantly carried it back home. This unwavering self-determination and fire would serve as a firm foundation upon which Vicki would build the rest of her life.
Many of her teen years enamored by the famous actor, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, David Cassidy. Posters with his charming smile hung on her bedroom walls, his music often blared from her room, and Vicki rarely missed an episode of her beloved “Partridge Family.”
After graduating from Galesburg-Augusta High School in 1972, Vicki took courses at Davenport College. Soon she was hired by Brown Company where she performed general office work and accounting. Over the next 26 years, the company changed hands and names several times: first it was Brown Company then James River, and finally, Crown Vantage. Despite the many changes, Vicki provided a steadfast integrity that proved priceless to the organization and the people she worked with.
In 1992 Vicki had the good fortune of meeting her husband, Bill. The two met one another through the Together Dating Service. At the time their primary common interest was a profound dissatisfaction with the service! Fortunately, their connection proved successful and the two dated for the next two years. As the happy couple traveled in their Piper Archer airplane for a fly-in cookout on Beaver Island, Bill surprised Vicki with a ring and proposal of marriage as she was taking off her headset upon arrival. Vicki said, “yes” and the pair were wed in a beautiful ceremony at The Gazebo Garden on Maui, Hawaii on October 11, 1994.
Together, Vicki and Bill carefully built their dream home on Barton Lake in Vicksburg where they lovingly raised their precious golden retrievers, Shorty, Sandy, and Sunny. It was also at their home where the couple thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of hosting many family gatherings and teaching their treasured nieces and nephews how to water ski. Vicki loved hanging out with family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and attending birthday parties for her great-nieces: Madison, Alexis, Autumn, Olivia, and Lilly. Especially close to Bill's siblings and their spouses, Tom and Susan Shearer, Debbie and Bob Rosenfeld, Annie and Joe Solfronk, Sister Susan Shearer, and Patrick and Mary Beth Shearer, many a good time was shared in their good company. The Shearer Siblings gathered at least once a year for the “Brothers and Sisters Dinner” and a Family Gathering the next day. Nieces and nephews, including Claire and Betsy Shearer; Shelly Ringer and Aaron Rosenfeld; JJ, Katie and Johnny Solfronk; Lucy, Jack, Molly and Maggie Shearer all learned to ski from the back of Vicki and Bill’s boat. Bill drove while Vicki kept a watchful eye on the kids’ progress, signaling as soon as they fell and encouraging them all the way.
Much of Vicki and Bill’s time was spent exploring their mutual passion for aviation and seaplane events. Many hours were spent in the planes that they built together. For many years, she and Bill enjoyed annual treks to Otsego Lake Splash-In at Gaylord, Michigan; Seaplane Base at the EAA Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Lake James Splash-In at Angola, IN; and Sun-N-Fun at Lakeland, FL. They also took a fun vacation to Barbados and Vicki belonged to the Kalamazoo Aviatrix where she enjoyed many aviation centered events.
In 2000 Vicki was diagnosed with COPD and given a grim 10-year prognosis. With her signature tenacity, Vicki took on the challenges of the disease with confidence in her ability to prove the doctors wrong. In March of 2001, Vicki and Bill bravely decided to change careers and open their own business. Soon they were running First Image Screen Printing and Embroidery where Bill managed the production work, and Vicki took care of the office and accounting.
When not working or spending time with her family, Vicki loved to curl up with a good book and read. She could often be found in the middle of the stacks of books she’d collected and read until her sister-in-law Debbie taught her how to download free books from the public library to her iPad.
Though small in stature, Vicki was a mighty force. She did not suffer fools lightly, and her innate sense of resolve fueled her perpetual fire of determination. Despite her original bleak diagnosis, Vicki lived for 17 years relishing in every moment she spent with family and friends. As her health began to fail in 2016, Vicki retired and concentrated even more on spending as much time as possible with those she loved. Regardless of life’s trials, Vicki’s smile was infectious and her enthusiasm could light up a room.
Clearly, life feels less certain without Vicki’s steadfast light and love. May it afford deep comfort to know that With each book we escape in, turn around the lake we make on skis, flight we make, and family gathering we share, we are living the best of Vicki’s legacy in our own lives. And in so doing, we keep the gifts of Vicki’s great life rippling out to others who will no doubt find themselves as inspired by her as we are so lucky to be.
Vicki Ann Shearer was born October 23, 1953, in Kalamazoo, Michigan the daughter of Frank and Virginia Liskovec. She grew up in Galesburg where many knew her as “Mitzi.” She grew up in Galesburg where many knew her as “Mitzi”. She graduated from Galesburg-Augusta High School in 1972. She worked 26 years for Brown Company/James River/Crown Vantage. She married Bill Shearer on October 11, 1994 in Maui, Hawaii. She is survived by her husband Bill; a brother Dennis (Jackie) Liskovec, their sons Marty Liskovec and Ben Liskovec, and their children Madison, Alexis, Autumn, Olivia, and Lilly. Also brother John Liskovec. Both of her parents passed away in June, 1995.
Vicki passed away Friday, December 29th after a long battle with COPD, having been diagnosed in 2000.
A memorial gathering will be on Saturday, January 6 from 10:00 to 11:00 at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church; 5855 E W Ave, Vicksburg, MI 49097. A memorial service will follow at 11:00 at the same location.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the West Michigan Cancer Center, Attn: Development, 200 North Park Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 or to the charity of your choice.