Shirley L. Zampich

Shirley L. Zampich, 97, of Millersburg, died peacefully at Bay Bluffs in Harbor Springs Monday, January 16, 2023. 

The daughter of George and Lorena (Banta) Russell, Shirley was born September 16, 1925, in Millersburg.  After graduating from high school, Shirley went on to get her teaching certificate. She worked as a teacher and teacher’s aide in Posen and at the Vilburn School. 

On April 15, 1950, she and Alvin Zampich were married at the Millersburg Methodist Church. Shirley was a devoted wife, loving mother and the perfect grandma.

Born and raised in Millersburg, attended school and church in Millersburg, and raised her family in Millersburg, Shirley’s roots were deep in the community. She and Alvin were well-known, well-loved, iconic citizens of the ‘Burg so much that Shirley was selected as the Millersburg Honored Citizen of 2018. 

Devoted to her faith, she was a lifelong member of Millersburg Methodist Church where she belonged to United Methodist Women, taught Sunday school, and was involved with many church activities in her 97 years, including the church Christmas program and cooking for Harvest Dinner and other church meals.

How do you condense 97 years of living into a few short paragraphs when there is so much “good stuff” to say about Grandma Shirley? 

First and foremost, she was a fierce competitor who always cheated at cards! Shirley loved to play any kind of game, including cards, dice, marbles, and dominoes. 

What she loved even more than playing, was winning! Many times, she tweaked the rules to her advantage to get the win and then would laugh with her little, high-pitched giggle, which was unforgettable. It was a laugh that will remain in the hearts and fondest memories of her family.

Shirley and Alvin were quite a pair. They enjoyed camping trips with their best camping buddies, Lloyd and Florence Hughes, Dick and Clare Walters, and Arnold and Shirley Trafelet. They also met frequently to play cards, go bowling, or just get together for a good visit. Shirley loved doing puzzles and watching sports. 

She would travel anywhere, any day, to watch one of her grandchildren or great-grandchildren play a ballgame and often could be heard cheering from the stands. 

Most of all Shirley loved her family as much as they loved her. She never failed to amaze her children and grandchildren with her feisty comments and quick wit. 

Blessed with health and a sharp mind, Shirley was attending ballgames at the age of 95 and playing cards just days before her passing. 

When forced to use a walker to help with balance, Shirley continued to have pep in her step and was hard to keep up with. It was best to stay at her side or she would be long gone. 

Cherished by her family, Shirley was an inspiration. She was grateful for being married to a wonderful husband for 65 years, for her children who doted on her and cared for her; and for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who brought her so much joy. Shirley was wise, honest, and easily said what she was thinking. 

She was friendly, fun, kind, loving, generous, respectful, determined, gracious, hardworking and selfless. She was one of a kind and will be deeply missed.

Shirley leaves her sons, Gary (Carolyn) Zampich of Millersburg and Dale (Marietta) Zampich of Alpena; daughters, Pam (Tim) Mason of Tower and Vicki (Mike) Domke of Millersburg; her grandchildren, who meant the world to her, Dan (Angela) Zampich, Paul (Sarah) Zampich, Chris (Andrea) Zampich, Bradley (Danielle) Zampich, Sarah Mason (Terry Strang), Shannon (Cory) Grzesikowski, Jennifer (Mark) Jacobs, and Erika (John) George; 18 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; as well as a sister, Bertha (Don) Mercer of Spring Arbor; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Shirley wa

s preceded in death by her husband, Alvin,  April 11, 2015; an infant daughter; daughter-in-law, Faith Zampich; granddaughter, Dawn Hoffmeyer; brothers, Eddie and Bill Russell; and sisters, Marie Sabin, Louise Darga, Susie Mae Rose and Esther Schuler.

Visitation will be held at Chagnon Funeral Home Sunday, January 22, from 4 – 7 p.m. followed by a funeral service at the Millersburg Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Monday, January 23. Shirley’s final resting place will be in Millersburg at Riverside Cemetery. 

Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Shirley to Millersburg Methodist Church.