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Obituaries » Shirley M. Howard

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October 28, 1925 - September 20, 2017

The family will receive friends at the funeral home beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Friday September 22, 2017. Shirley’s funeral service will immediately following the visitation time, beginning at 11:00 a.m. Followed by a luncheon at the funeral home. A Committal Ceremony will be held for Shirley at Fort Custer National Cemetery, located at 15501 Dickman Road, Augusta Michigan on Friday October 6, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. Those in attendance are asked to arrive at the cortege area prior to the service time.

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On September 20, 2017 Shirley Howard was welcomed into the arms of her Lord and Savior and joined Wendell, her mate for 65 years who went ahead in 2012.

She was born into the Squires clan on October 28, 1925 to parents Thorne and Mable Squires as she joined three brothers Jerry, Gip, and Bruce. Sister Phyllis and brother Lynn would complete the family. They lived in a small bungalow on property that is now the center of the Western Michigan University campus.

After her 1943 graduation from Kalamazoo Central High School, Shirley acquired an office position, with the assistance of her uncle Carlton Jackson, at Stanley Home Products. In later years, she would work for the New York Central Railroad in Kalamazoo selling tickets and announcing train arrivals and departures.

With no TV, iPad, or Kindle, dancing was an activity of choice in the 1940’s and it was a dance pavilion near Paw Paw, Michigan that Shirley met Wendell who had just returned from his WWII duties. After a short engagement, Shirley wed Wendell on November 9, 1946 and she was his love for 65 years – never having to pump gas for her car in all those years.

After their honeymoon to Ohio, they moved into a shell of a house with no interior walls and an outhouse. The promise was made that all would be built and suitable for living within six months. Eighteen years later that promise was fulfilled.

Life in the neighborhood progressed and the kids all moved away. Mom and Dad spent their time playing golf and traveling on many bus trips across the country. Their favorite bus trips were mystery tours where they were given instructions on what types of clothing to pack and that was all. Eventually, the kids found their way back home but this time they had spouses, grandchildren and great- grandchildren. This made for many family meals together, usually prefaced with someone calling out “Uncle Will is at the table”.

Mom’s entire family were of the utmost importance to her. Many are gone but she leaves behind son Larry (Pam) Howard of Holland, Michigan, daughter Gail (Dale) Rahn of Troy, Michigan; five grandchildren: Marie (Lemont) Platt, Andrea (Josh) Dornbos, Jeremy (Allison) Rahn, Kirsten Rahn, and Kendall (Jessica) Rahn and four great-grandchildren; Aylah, Macy, and Emery Dornbos and Kayden Rahn along with scores of cousins, nieces, nephews and lifelong friends. She also leaves special people; Doris Taft, Ken Taft, Frank Stender, Truman and Lesley Stepp, Mike and Tamara Sands and children, Jim and Linda Clarey, and the Lake Center Bible Church Prime Timers.