Shirley Wertenberger

Obituary of Shirley Ann Wertenberger

Shirley Ann Wertenberger, age 85, of Dundee passed away in her home on April 10th, 2020 surround by family. Born in Tecumseh, Michigan on July 18, 1934 she was one of five children born from the union of Emory Downing and Iva (Spencer) Downing. Shirley attended Dundee Community Schools.  

On December 22, 1951, she married Melvin Wertenberger Jr in Dundee, Michigan. The couple would be blessed with the birth of four sons. Shirley took employment at Kroger in Dundee. She quickly earned the respect of those around her and would serve as the Non-foods Manager, retiring after 26 years. After her retirement from Kroger, Shirley continued working as a sales associate at Cabela’s.

Shirley was known as the life of the party and was always trying to make people laugh. Since she loved to spend time with family, she made sure to stay quite active in their lives. Shirley was always willing to host special events and holiday get-togethers. She was a regular attendee at her grandchildren’s sporting and dance events and was a member of the Mother’s Club in Dundee.  

Shirley was also gifted with a green thumb and she enjoyed tending to her vegetable garden and house plants. She liked challenging herself with word searches, researching family history, and loved to cook, bake, and dance.

Shirley will be remembered for her spunky, spitfire personality but most noteworthy was her kindness, generosity, compassion and a knack for making people feel special.   

In addition to her parents, her passing was preceded by two brothers: Dean and Donald Downing, and two sisters: Arlene Weyher and Charlotte Bigelow.

Her memory will be cherished by her beloved husband of more than 68 years, Melvin; four sons:  Larry (Marcy) of Traverse City, Lonnie (Cheryl) of Dundee, Bruce (Mary Ann) of Dundee, and Gary Wertenberger of Dundee, one sister:  Audrey Palmer of Florida, and her grandchildren, Jason (Nichole), Todd (Laura), Rachel, Ashley (Ty), Erika, Ian (Lindsey), Eric (Jessica), Elizabeth (Jesse), Sarah (Steven), and Richard (Emily), 14 great-grandchildren and her four-legged companion, Buffy

Due to the current social restrictions an intimate family gathering was held at Merkle Funeral Service in Dundee. Pastor Roy Southerland led a beautiful service that was followed by a very special procession to Lulu Cemetery in Ida. With respect to the social distancing recommendations, family and friends from all over lined the procession route with waves, honks, balloons and homemade signs to show their love for Shirley.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association; 25200 Telegraph Rd #300, Southfield, MI 48033

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