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Shirley D Kison

July 23, 1935 - January 27, 2018
Norton Shores, MI

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Visitations


Friday, February 2, 2018
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Clock Life Story Funeral Homes
Muskegon Location
1469 Peck St.
Muskegon, MI 49441
(231) 722-3721
Driving Directions

Saturday, February 3, 2018
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST
Lakeside Baptist Church
2250 Denmark
Muskegon, MI 49441
Web Site

Services


Saturday, February 3, 2018
11:00 AM EST
Lakeside Baptist Church
2250 Denmark
Muskegon, MI 49441
Web Site

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Lakeside Baptist Church
2250 Denmark
Muskegon, MI 49441
Web Site

Hospice of Michigan
989 Spaulding SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49301
(616) 454-1426
Driving Directions
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Chalet Floral
700 W. Hackley Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49441
(231) 755-1805
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Throughout her rich and rewarding life, Shirley Kison made the most of the days she was given while holding her loved ones near. She was all about family and lived to watch her family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones who made her so very proud. Guided by an unwavering faith, Shirley was patient, kindhearted, and nurturing with a desire to serve others in ways both great and small. With an insatiable love for learning, she was filled with such wisdom that was willingly shared with others. Deeply loved, Shirley will be forever missed.

Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, which drove the unemployment rate to over 25 percent, and there were countless Americans who lost their homes as a result. Despite the trials around them, Carl and Hazel (Johnson) Bergman were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their own lives as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Shirley Dora on July 23, 1935, in Muskegon, Michigan. As the youngest of three children, she was both born in and raised in the family home on Sisson Street in the Lakeside neighborhood of Muskegon alongside her siblings, Donald and June. Shirley’s father was a self-employed carpenter who built houses while her mother was a homemaker. A bit later, her father built a new family home on Arlington Avenue right next to Pigeon Hill.

In many ways Shirley was a young girl of her generation. She was a tomboy who enjoyed both fishing and ice fishing, and she was the one who maintained their wooden rowboat. Shirley spent much of her time on Muskegon Lake and in the Muskegon Channel both swimming and boating. She also liked playing on Pigeon Hill and hanging out with her “Girl Gang” friends. Shirley and her family were members at Lakeside Baptist Church, and Shirley remained a faithful member there her whole life. She attended Bunker School and then went on to Muskegon High School. In addition to holding down her studies, Shirley worked at the Cole’s Bakery counter in Etterman’s Grocery Store while in high school.

New and exciting changes were in store for Shirley when she met a young man named Ray Baker at a Halloween party after high school. He was a serviceman who had just returned from serving in the Army, and they soon began dating. Ray later worked as a crewman on Great Lakes ships, and Shirley would drive to the ports that the ship was in just to see him. Deeply in love, the couple was married on July 22, 1955. As a young newlywed Shirley attended Hackley School of Nursing and became a Registered Nurse. Together she and her husband welcomed four children including Mark, Steve, Greg, and Shellie into their hearts and home. Their growing family lived in downtown Muskegon for a time but later moved to a house on Harrison Avenue in Lakeside.

In addition to raising their children, Shirley worked part-time as a nurse at Hackley Hospital lovingly caring for countless numbers of babies in the Newborn Nursery & later she worked in the Admitting Department until retiring in 1993 after 36 years. She loved her children and was a very active part of their lives. She volunteered with the PTA at Bunker School, served with the Christian Womens Club, and as a nurse for the American Red Cross. Shirley was also a Charter Member of Citizens for Clean Air even lobbying in Lansing for her community. Shirley was also a Cub Scout Leader and later assisted Ray who was a Scout Master of Troop #1 in Bluffton. Countless life-long friendships were formed through scouting including a special family friendship with Head Scout Master Ned Carter who became an important member of “The KB Squad”.

The family enjoyed camping all over Michigan in their 1964 Cox Pop Up Camper that Shirley would have all packed with each kids’ “beer box” suitcase. She would also hook the camper to the car so they could head out as soon as Ray came home from work.

Shirley remained active at Lakeside Baptist by singing in the choir and serving as a Deaconess and Trustee. Although Ray battled Cancer valiantly, he passed away in 1975.

Brighter days were in store for Shirley when she was introduced to John “Jack” Kison. He was a fellow widower with three children of his own. The two hit it off immediately and were engaged just a few months later. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Shirley and Jack were married several months later on May 8, 1976. Determined to have a strong family unit, they worked hard to blend their two families into one. They sold their respective houses and bought a home big enough for them all and filled it with plenty of love and a steadfast faith in God. Shirley became a wonderful Step-Mother to Lynn, Paul, & David Kison as the Baker & Kison families blended and “The KB Squad” was formed. With such a bustling crew life could be a bit crazy at times, but it was always an adventure including a memorable trip to Washington, D.C. in a motorhome that was continuously overheating.

With Shirley at the helm, their home was efficiently run. With 6 teenagers in the house she did 13 loads of laundry a week, and she was also an amazing cook. With Shirley already involved in scouting, Jack naturally became a Scout Master with Ned & Troop #1. When the kids were grown, she and Jack bought a 5th Wheel camper and camped all over Michigan. They also enjoyed trips to New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and Alaska to name a few places.

In 2006 Jack was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and died in October of that year. Shirley remained in the family home and also remained active at church and with her friends and family. She was also the Chaplan with the local PEO Sisterhood and treasurer of the Bunker School Alumni Board. Shirley also thoroughly loved her times spent in the pool or out to eat with the ladies from the Aqua Waves group at the local “Y”. She also enjoyed getting together and hearing stories from the Yarn Spinners. Shirley’s grandchildren brought her untold joy and she attended & cheered at countless sporting events, concerts, and musicals as their number one fan.

Eventually needing to downsize, she sold their home and moved into a Sr. Adult Apartment and later into assisted living. She made the best of her life there, but over time the years took their toll and Shirley’s health began failing which caused her to look forward to heaven.

A vibrant, fun-loving, and hardworking woman, Shirley Kison was a blessing in the lives of countless others within her family, her church, and her community. She was a lifelong learner who was continually seeking to learn new things, and her zest for life was contagious to all who were near. Shirley leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever cherish.

Shirley Dora Kison was carried into the arms of her Lord and Savior on Saturday, January 27, 2018, surrounded by her family. Shirley’s family includes her children, Mark (Lori) Baker of Shelby, Lynn (Gerald) Micketti of Traverse City, Steven (Barbara) Baker of Jenison, Paul (Lonnie) Kison of Hudson, Gregory (Gayle) Baker of Norton Shores, David Kison of Muskegon, Shellie (Rev. Ken) Shady of Norton Shores; grandchildren, Megan (Alyn) Goossen, Jennifer (Lydia) Bedford, Jack (Kelly) Baker, Christine (Michael) Godmer, Justin Shady, Grayson (Meagan) Baker, Kaitlin Baker, Nicole (Tanner Opple) Shady, Jacob Baker, Bryan Kison, Sarah Baker, Matthew Kison; great-grandchildren, Andrew and Lauren Godmer, Bradyn Goossen, Owen Baker, Anna Kate Goossen, Silvia Baker, Griffin Baker and Ellis Bedford; brothers-in-law, Kent Baker & Bud Kison; sisters-in-law, Annette (Jim) Fox, Valerie Kison & Karen Cooper and many nieces and nephews including her very close niece, Mary Lee (Me Me). Shirley was preceded in death by her husbands, J. Raymond Baker and John R. Kison; parents; mother and father-in-law, Marlin & Lillian Baker; brother, Donald Bergman & sister June McDonald. Services will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018, 11:00 a.m. at Lakeside Baptist Church with Rev. Thomas Beetham officiating. Interment in Lakeside Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Friday, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Clock Funeral Home - Muskegon and Saturday, one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials can be made to Lakeside Baptist Church or Hospice of Michigan. Please visit www.clockfuneralhome.com to leave a memory or sign the online guest book.

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