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Mercy VNS & Hospice
888 Terrace Street
Muskegon, MI 49440
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Lorna Syers made a significant impact in the lives of everyone she met. She was very social and active in the community she called home with a devotion to others that was truly unmatched. Lorna treasured her family, and she loved nothing more than being surrounded by the love of her family and friends. Known as Aunt Lorna to several family members and friends, there was no one who met her and left unchanged. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a timeless collection of memories that will never be forgotten.
The 1930s were some of the darkest days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and there were few American families who didn’t feel the strain. To make matters worse, there was a drought that crippled our nation and much of the world for nearly two years during this same time. Despite the hardship around them. Shirley Curtis and Almeda (Hoffman) Syers were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their own lives when they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Lorna Shirley on August 13, 1934, in Muskegon, Michigan. She was the oldest of three girls and was raised alongside her sisters, Constance and Kathryn. Lorna also had a brother named Jack who died an an infant. Lorna’s father worked in a local foundry and eventually became a crane operator for Bultema Dock & Dredge while her mother was a homemaker.
Raised in the family home on Green Creek Road in Laketon Township north of Muskegon, Lorna was a typical young girl of her generation. Their home was quite primitive as it didn’t have indoor plumbing for quite a while as that area was largely undeveloped at the time. Lorna enjoyed playing with her siblings in the woods, catching frogs and polliwogs in the nearby ponds. Because her mother didn’t drive, as soon a Lorna got her license she was the main driver for many family outings, which worked out well since Lorna loved to drive. Lorna’s sister said, “Have car, will travel.” She, her sisters, and her mother took many drives and vacations together, often leaving Lorna’s father back at home. Over the years there were numerous trips to the Upper Peninsula and a memorable trip to Niagara Falls. Lorna learned to play the piano by ear and later picked up the organ as well. Later in life she had a wonderful Hammond organ in her home. As a student, Lorna attended North Muskegon Schools.
After graduating from North Muskegon High School, Lorna went on to Muskegon Business College and then took a position in the office at Shaw Walker in Muskegon. She started out in the billing department and held various positions throughout her nearly 40 year career there.
In 1961, Lorna had a desire to serve her country, but she needed to lose weight in order to get into the Army. She did what she needed to do and then joined, wanting to become a nurse. Lorna served in Texas and Colorado until 1964, and she then returned to her position at Shaw Walker. Lorna moved back in with her parents and cared for them until their death in 1972.
Over the years, Lorna had several friends and was very active. She was a member of the Muskegon Eagles and also a member of their drill team, traveling to various competitions around the country. Lorna enjoyed bowling and was on several different leagues through the years. She liked traveling and took trips to Germany and Hawaii. Lorna liked parking by the Causeway Park to watch the swans and attending parades as she loved flags and was so proud of her country. She was a fan of both the Detroit Tigers and the Red Wings, and as a ceramics lover she acquired a collection of over 500 bells. Aunt Lorna, as she was called by so many friends and relatives, loved spending time with her nieces and nephews whether they were going to movies, having sleepovers, or taking car rids. For years she acted as a surrogate mother for many friends, offering her help and wisdom.
In 2000, Lorna moved into a place on the first floor in Jefferson Towers Apartments. Her apartment was right next to the main entrance, and she often sat at her window and waved to all the residents as they came and went. Lorna was diagnosed with lymphoma last year and had to stop driving. Sadly, it was too much for her to to overcome.
With unending love for her family and friends, Lorna Syers was such a blessing. She was very independent and strong willed, yet her heart was as big as they come. Lorna was content in whatever life brought and could always find the good in everything and everyone. Life will never be the same without Lorna here, but her memory will never be forgotten.
Lorna Shirley Syers passed away Saturday, April 16, 2016. Lorna’s family includes sister, Kathy (Joe) Martin of Muskegon; special friend, Lynn Jazdzyk; many nieces and nephews. Lorna was preceded in death her parents, sister Connie and brother Jack. Services will be held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 10:30 a.m. at the Clock Chapel - Muskegon and Military Honors under the Auspices of the Muskegon County Council of Veterans. Memorials can be made to Mercy VNS & Hospice.