Shirley Jean Merchant

Shirley Jean Merchant, 93, passed away peacefully at Medilodge of Green View, Alpena January 2, 2019.


Shirley was born in Rogers City September 3, 1925 to the late Ervin and Florence (Henry) Merchant. In 1932, the Merchants moved permanently to east Grand Lake, a place dear to all their hearts. Shirley and her two sisters attended the one-room Grand Lake School, and they fondly remembered special class hikes to Lake Huron to gather and study wildflowers. The girls loved their summers at their grandparents’ vintage Grand Lake resort, the Birch Hill Hotel. Shirley lived at the family home for decades prior to moving to Alpena in her later years for living assistance.

Through Shirley’s kind, gentle soul and sheer determination, and despite her physically challenged hands, she lovingly and painstakingly gifted family members with knitted afghans. A true act of love, Shirley’s passing closes the family chapter for her generation, but her keen memory has provided us with lasting details about the past.

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Surviving are her nieces and nephews, Barbara (David) Baldauf, Fred (Cindy) May, Tom (Sue) May, Jim (Pat) Young, Janet Young, Bob (Naoko) Young and Mary Young.

Shirley was preceded in death by her sisters, Carol Young and Mildred (Mickey) May.

The family extends their sincere gratitude to the staff at Green View for its tender care of Shirley for nearly 15 years.

Arrangements for cremation have been handled by the Bannan Funeral Home. A memorial service for Aunt Shirley will be held at Grand Lake this summer. The date and location of the service will be announced at a later date.