Obituaries Archive

Obituaries » Sharon M. Buursma

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July 7, 1943 - August 9, 2020

The family is planning a private service and anticipates a larger service when it is safe for us to all be together again. Sharon left us with the following thoughts: “My career and my life have been about bringing the best of health care, business and education together to create a work environment where patients and staff are valued and clinicians can practice as they are taught. I can never repay the Michigan State College of Nursing enough for the education that I received and the doors that that education opened for me throughout my life. But, imagine the possibilities if we each gave something back. Just imagine the difference that we would make! Just imagine!” To make a lasting gift in Sharon’s memory you are invited to remember in her name the following organizations: The Michigan State University College of Nursing, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Chapter of the American Heart Association, or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, c/o the funeral home.

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Sharon hired me in 1975 as a RN for Public Health/Visiting Nurse. Through our years together, she became a dear friend and mentor. Her management style was quite progressive as she believed all of the team needed to be heard and supported. She taught me many work and life lessons. One of the best was to take excellent care of the staff and they will take excellent care of the patients. Rather than eloping, Sharon insisted that I have an inclusive wedding teaching me that a wedding is for everyone to celebrate and share the love. There are so many other stories and memories. She will always have special place in my heart.

Posted by Elise Casassa Glettler on August 21, 2020

I was very sorry to learn of Sharon's passing. I got to know her through several organizations but mostly with Porter Hills. She was easy to know and such an asset to Porter Hills when serving on the board and in other ways as well. Always up and delivering sound advice and guidance. She was such fun to work with. May God bless Sharon and her family. She will be missed by many of her friends and colleagues.

Posted by Chuck Jennings on August 17, 2020

Sharon was an amazing woman and trail blazer for women in business in Grand Rapids. But as a client who became my friend, she was endlessly kind, caring and supportive. She was helpful to so many people, whether family or not. Her basement bedrooms were almost always filled with someone in need. We are so lucky that she survived her second heart attack to give us so many more years of loving kindness. Thank you Sharon for being my friend. You made my life so much more fulfilling with your kindness. You are missed. You are now with the angles instead of being one here on earth. Love, Marilyn Whitney, Ph.D.

Posted by Marilyn Whitney, Ph.D. on August 16, 2020

Sharon lived a very active and service-orientated life. She shared her expertise with so many organizations, including Aquinas' Master of Management Program. We are grateful for her valuable contributions. On behalf of the Aquinas College community we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Sharon's family and friends; with them we celebrate her fruitful years among us and her Risen Life in Christ. She has made a difference in the lives of so many people. Eternal Life be hers.

Posted by Sister Mary Ann Barrett, OP AQuinas College on August 14, 2020