Shirley L. Kanka, 91, of Huron Beach, died at Golden Beach Manor Sunday, March 10. Born in Detroit August 13, 1927, Shirley was the daughter of Harold and Esther (Kammer) Seelbinder. She was raised in Detroit and graduated in 1945 from Eastern High School. On June 2, 1956, she married Jerome Kanka at Assumption Grotto Catholic Church and they made their home in Detroit.
A wonderful homemaker and amazing cook, Shirley also worked in retail before going into business for herself. In 1959, she opened a boutique specializing in children’s clothing, including baptismal gowns and communion dresses. She operated Shirley’s Infant and Children’s Wear until 1975 when she moved north to Huron Beach near Onaway. An avid outdoorswoman, Shirley loved the woods and waters of northern Michigan. She enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a founding member of the Hammond Bay Area Angler’s Association. She also belonged to the Red Hats and the Huron Beach Civic Association.
Outgoing and social, Shirley enjoyed playing euchre and pinochle at card club and going to the casino with her lady friends. Often reading an entire novel in a single day or staying up half the night to finish a captivating story, Shirley was a voracious reader. Her love for a good book began as a young girl when she would hide under the covers reading when she was supposed to be sleeping. Shirley also enjoyed vacations spent on cruise ships with visits to Caribbean Islands. But her greatest joy and happiness came from her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She loved every moment she spent with her family and was proud of each of them. She looked forward to family reunions and rarely missed family gatherings. Devoted to her Christian faith and her deep Lutheran roots, Shirley was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Ocqueoc.
Honest and forthright, Shirley tended to speak her mind. It was easy to know where one stood with Shirley. She also was friendly, fun-loving, and kind. An excellent wife and mother, she instilled in her children work ethic, love for family and faith in God. She was an incredible lady who touched many lives in her 91 years. She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.
Surviving Shirley is her son, Gerald (Janice) Kanka of Troy/Huron Beach; daughters, Karen (Randy) Jasek of Georgetown, Texas, Ramona (Tom) Cox of Lewiston and Kathleen (Mike) Deely of Morgantown, West Virginia; as well as 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Shirley also leaves two sisters, Gloria (Brad) Oldenburg of East Berlin, Pennsylvania and Sharon (Angelo) Quartuccio of Clinton Township.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Jerome, January 5, 1993 and her sister, Marilyn Seelbinder.
Shirley’s family will receive friends at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 1800 West Maple, Birmingham, MI 48009 Saturday, March 16, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the memorial service beginning at 11:00 a.m. The Rev. Randy Schlak will officiate. Shirley’s final resting place will be with her husband at Assumption Grotto Cemetery in Detroit. Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Shirley to Trinity Lutheran Church, c/o Sara LaLonde, 14810 Twin School Hwy., Millersburg, MI 49759 or to McLaren Home Care and Hospice, 2078 West M-32 Hwy., Alpena, MI 49707. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ocqueoc at a later date. Condolences may be shared with Shirley’s family at www.chagnonfh.com. Arrangements are in care of Chagnon Funeral Home.