mom3-1
Shirley Irene Wilson
  • 86 years old
  • Date of birth: Oct 27, 1928
  • Date of passing: Jan 16, 2015
Let the memory of Shirley be with us forever

Shirley Wilson passed away on January 16, 2015 at the age of 86. A lifelong resident of Clawson, Michigan, she spent over 40 years as a high school teacher and counselor, 38 years in the Clawson School District. She graduated from Clawson High School, and went on to Alma College where she met her husband, Frank Wilson.  They were married in 1952, and started a family shortly after that, raising six boys and one girl in her beloved town of Clawson.  Shirley loved playing golf, the theater, watching her children and grandchildren compete in sports, tending to her garden, and annual vacations to Traverse City with her family and winters in Florida.  With the passing of Frank in 2005, Shirley began a friendship with Bob McQuater.  They traveled the country together, attended MSU football games, and enjoyed a very special relationship until her passing.  She was an active member in her community and with the Alma Alumni Association where she sponsored a scholarship fund for deserving undergraduates.  She is survived by her 6 sons, Keith Wilson; two grandchildren, Adam and Kyle, Craig Wilson, Bryan Wilson (Shelly); two grandchildren, Brady (Sarah), Whitney (Ben); one great-grandchild, Breckon, Kevin Wilson (Susan); four grandchildren, Taryn, Lauren, Kendall, and Kamren, Ken Wilson (Chris); three grandchildren, Evan, Alyssa, and Kelsey, Scott Wilson (Erin); three grandchildren, Cameron, Cole, and Chloe, and daughter, Kim Williams (Mike); four grandchildren, Alex, Madeline, Sophia, and Ava.  A memorial service will be held at Clawson High School Auditorium, 101 John M Avenue, Clawson, MI on February 7, 2015 at 11:30 a.m.  A Memorial Luncheon will follow at 1:30 p.m. at Petruzzello's Banquet & Conference Center, 6950 Rochester Rd, Troy, MI.  The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cure Alzheimer's Fund
, 34 Washington Street, Suite 200
 Wellesley Hills, MA 02481 www.curealz.org/

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Jean Ludwig on 27th October 2016

"I'm a graduate of CHS class of '64 and was known as Claudia Baas.  Mrs Wilson was my gym teacher for 4 years and enjoyed every minute of it.  She was a great teacher and fine person.  I just heard the news today, on this one-year memorial, and was sad to find about her passing.   I wish that I had to opportunity to see her during one of my visits to Mich.  She was a dear person and she felt more like a friend than a teacher.  We all affectionately called her "Willie" and thought that was so neat."

This tribute was added by barry hewelt on 27th October 2016

"The last time I saw Mrs. Wilson might have been in the late eighties when quite by accident I bumped into her while she was working at a little secondhand shop at the intersection of what was then a little village called Utica, Michigan.  I was surprised, as was she, but even more so when she remembered me, some 20 years after I had graduated from Clawson high school.  But that’s the kind of person she was, after meeting her, you would know her always throughout your life and by some miracle she would remember you.  This day, today is her name day celebration, so I am grateful that I can remember and think of her on her special day.  I’m convinced her spirit lives in all of us, and enriches each day we live."

This tribute was added by Lucinda Sheth on 17th January 2016

"I hold the Wilson family in my prayers as the first anniversary came. I thought of you all and Aunt Shirley yesterday as I drove home from Charlotte, NC after funeral services for my Aunt Kitty (Betti's sister-in-law) who was married to Jack D'Armond. These are the seasons of life. Bless you all."

This tribute was added by Lucinda Sheth on 10th February 2015

"Dear ones: I have a heavy heart today as I learn of my 'Aunt Shirley's" passing. She was my mother's dearest friend since they were both 5.  Aunt Shirley became a dear friend to me also. My dearest mother, her best friend, passed away today (02/10/2015) at 3:45 pm. BETTI D'ARMOND has gone up into the loving arms of Jesus. I held her until her last breath and when Betti left the earth she had a surprise to find Shirley already there in heaven! May God give comfort and continued blessings to the Wilson family.  661 DeArmond Road, Kingston, TN  37763"

This tribute was added by Kevin Wilson on 10th February 2015

"Who my mom is to me ….

She was Harry and Clarinda’s baby number 3,
She was christened Shirley Irene,

She was little sister to Harry and Ken,
She was 305 Renshaw from beginning to end,

She was a child of the Depression and World War II,
She was Clawson High through and through,

She graduated high school at 16, and college at 20,
That’s where she met Frank, a guy she thought was kind of funny,

5 kids in 4 years, most would’ve thought that was enough,
But this was the generation made of “the right stuff”,

Eight years later came number seven,
You’d have thought she came straight from heaven,

She had all boys and finally a girl,
Her six grains of sand, and one shiny pearl,

With 7 kids, a husband, and a career, she went back to school to get her master’s degree,
And you kids thought you invented multi-tasking,

She didn’t have Oprah or Doctor Phil,
And for stress, you certainly didn’t take a pill,

She was cold cream on her face every night,
She didn’t need botox to keep her skin tight,

She was eat your vegetables, and clean your plate,
She was look me in the eye, and sit up straight,

She was don’t just stand there, get in and led a hand,
She was summers at the beach, playing in the sand,

She would remind you when you were getting too big for your britches,
With seven kids – she was a pro at removing stitches,

She was nothing comes easy, you work for every cent,
There was no such thing as an entitlement,

She was once you start something, you cannot quit,
She was take as much as you want, but use every bit,

She used accountability and consequences, to keep you on track,
But she always, always had your back,

She was never condescending, or critical of you,
She would encourage you in everything you do,

She was cartwheels across the gymnasium floor,
She was be a gentleman, and open the door,

She was sugar and spice and everything nice,
Charity was her only vice,

She was respect your elders, and don’t talk back,
She reprimanded you with logic, instead of a smack,

She was bus trips to DC with the senior class,
She’d bust you in the hall, if you didn’t have a pass,

She was Thanksgiving dinner, and homemade pumpkin pie,
She was Christmas stockings filled with goodies ‘til the day she died,

Apathy wasn’t an option, you can’t afford to be disengaged,
Motivation and involvement were the words of the day,

Feeling good about yourself should be innate,
But if needed, she was a pro at making you feel great,

She never interfered in your affairs,
When you needed her she was always there,

She wouldn’t dare ask – how come? Or why?
She made do with what she had, and always managed to get by,

When her mother got sick, and had to go away,
For 10 long years, she visited her nearly every day,

She was teacher, counselor, mentor, and so much more,
She was the life of the party, and never a bore,

She helped countless young men and women achieve their dreams,
She didn’t seek recognition; she was just part of the team,

She loved the arts, tending her garden, and sports of any kind,
She was a true renaissance woman, like many of her time,

She lost her husband of 53 years in 2005,
We all wondered how she would survive,

Then she met Bob, and there was no better companion,
It seemed like every year they were driving from Florida to the Grand Canyon,

She became a Spartan late in life,
Out with the maroon and cream, and in with the Green and White,

To you and me, and whoever she met,
She was one of those people you never forget,

She was full of life, and enjoying every day,
It didn’t seem right, that something would take this away,

It was a few lost words at first,
She knew this cruel disease was a family curse,

When the confusion became more frequent, and she couldn’t remember much,
Her smile never faded, there are some things even Alzheimer’s can’t touch,

In the final hours, you could sense the end was near,
A lifetime of memories filled the room, and everything seemed so clear,

No fanfare or suffering you see,
Just surrounded by family was how she wanted it to be,

In life and death she was like no other,
I’m so proud to call her my mother,

With the life she led I’m sure she’s fine,
I’m guessing right now she’s on the back nine,

You see, she’s finally got her foursome back – Shirley, Frank, Ruth, and Jim,
Once again, the women are taking quarters from the men.

Love you MOM!"

This tribute was added by bryan wilson on 9th February 2015

"Mom, thanks for being the Best Mom ever. I miss you so much...."

This tribute was added by Ken Wilson on 8th February 2015

"A TRIBUTE TO SHIRLEY
So I’m thinking of what I want to say, and the tears come to my eyes
And I cannot seem to stop them, but I won’t apologize
I guess it always is the hardest, when we say our last goodbyes.

The reason we are here, perhaps some twist of fate
That goes back to the year, of nineteen twenty-eight
Two parents, for a princess prayed, a girl-she’d be a dancer
Like fairy tales in heaven are made, and Shirley was God’s answer.
As a child, tumbling and dancing, were among her greatest joys
She spent those early years proving, she was as tough as all the boys
And the woman that we came to know, was stronger than any mister
The only one I know as tough, would have to be our sister.

Shirley was Clawson High and Alma Scot, she would tell you that with pride
She was loyal to both places, up until the day she died
She liked ice cream with Sanders hot fudge, and lemon in her hot tea
And she liked tending to her garden, trips up north with family
And she always had fond memories of her one trip to “Paris”
She never had an unkind word, or swore or smoked or drank
I see puzzled looks at our family…hey, let’s not forget Frank…

So they had a bunch of kids you see, the final count was seven
Then raising this menagerie, one step closer to heaven
She used to sew names in our underwear, about that I’m not lyin’
When I would go to grab my pair, somehow mine still read “Bryan”
The holey socks and torn up jeans, and broken hearts she mended
From little league thru college, all the games that she attended

In her grandkids lives, she always, played a special part
Teaching them of sports, where she, won a purple heart
From Brady down to Ava, the girls and the boys
Playing on the organ, or with the tinker toys
Helping them pick raspberries, out in her backyard
Getting them to go to Grandma’s, was never very hard.



Her Golf League friends, she cared for them so much
Until the end, she tried to stay in touch
And when the weather, became a cold gray day
She’d get together, with some friends to see a play.
For those who are here today, that our mother never knew
I’m sure you would have loved her, and she would have loved you
There is a basic tenet, that always was our mothers
Try to live each day, by doing more for others

As our mother, she was unconditional, joyful, sacrifice
As Counselor, she gave so much more than, options and advice
She taught us by example, and she was always teaching
She’d always build you up, never scolding, never preaching
She helped us to believe that, we could all be so much more
By seeing something in us, that we’d never seen before.


She said if you dare to dream, sometimes you have to take a chance
And if you want to live life, you must get up and join the dance
She lived her life with grace, with integrity and class
When tears came to your face, she would say “this too shall pass”.

And when our father passed, and alone was our mother
Our family was blessed, when she and Bob found each other.

Then when her life on earth, had reached its December
She struggled with frustration, unable to remember
And as the album of her life, had reached the final track
God blessed us with the chance, to finally give a little back.

Those final days, once again, she got us all together
And thinking back to that week, I’m really not sure whether
When all was said and done, I don’t know if I knew
If you were still more there for us, than we were there for you
We talked about the good old days, and played remember when
Why do we never learn our beginnings, until we sense an end.


We gently brushed your hair, and held onto your hand
Said our prayers and tried in vain, to somehow understand
Played some songs to ease our pain, and said this was God’s plan
Dealt with the pain and sorrow, then came to the realization
We must look to tomorrow, and make this a celebration.



So I’ve heard some say she was perfect, and some called her a saint
But that is not a picture she would have wanted us to paint
No, she did not walk on water, or turn it into wine
But she held the title “Mother”, and I thank God she was mine.

And she touched many lives over the years, and she brightened our lives daily
Up in heaven now, I have no fears, you could say she’s our “George Bailey”
Grandma, Mom, aunt, trusted friend, a daughter, sister, teacher, and wife
Now that it has reached an END, yours was, SHIRLEY, A WONDERFUL LIFE!"

This tribute was added by DIane Schultz on 7th February 2015

"What a wonderful life Mrs. Wilson lived that inspired and helped so many with her beautiful smile and positive disposition.  God Bless the Wilson family.  I know her caring and kindness lives within each of you."

This tribute was added by Carol Richeson Windorf on 7th February 2015

"I was sad to learn that Mrs. Wilson is gone. She was my junior high gym teacher, my high school French teacher and a role model for my life.  I'll always remember her with that great big smile.  It was a privilege to have known her. I'll be thinking about her and her family today during the memorial service.  Wish I could be there.."

This tribute was added by Cathy Wilson on 6th February 2015

"Shirley was a truly remarkable woman and I’m blessed to have known her.  So patient and kind.   I will always remember her sitting on those hard bleachers cheering on her grandchildren.  I doubt she ever missed a game, and she’ll continue to cheer all of them on from Heaven with each step they take.  May your hearts always be filled with the cherished memories.    xoxox"

This tribute was added by Cathy Wilson on 6th February 2015

"Shirley was a truly remarkable woman and I’m blessed to have known her. So patient and so kind.   I will always remember her sitting on those hard bleachers cheering on her grandchildren.  I doubt she ever missed a game.   I know her Grandkids will make her proud, and she’ll continue to cheer all of them on from Heaven.   xoxox"

This tribute was added by Kay Matson Stevens on 4th February 2015

"Forever remembered.  Shirley Wilson was a wonderful role model for the girls in our class of '62.  She combined a career with parenting with what appeared to be seamless precision and I admired her for always being available to listen.  She taught me some valuable life lessons and I will always remember her kindness.  RIP, Mrs. Wilson."

This tribute was added by Rose Karsten on 4th February 2015

"While our interactions with both Shirley and Frank were small in number, they were always memorable ones.  One thing I am certain of, is the fine legacy they leave behind in their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Bryan, our dear friend, we love you and are very sorry for your loss!  R and J"

This tribute was added by S. Keller on 3rd February 2015

"Shirley and Dad (Homer Keller) had a real Clawson connection. They met in kindergarten, went through school together, and remained lifelong friends until his death. She was an amazingly accomplished woman and truly made a difference in many lives. Rest in peace, Shirley."

This tribute was added by Mary Frezza Korman on 31st January 2015

"My memories of Mrs, Wilson are that she was a great role model for us girls as well as a great mentor.  She was always there for you if you needed to talk to someone.  My heart goes out to the Wilson family."

This tribute was added by barry hewelt on 30th January 2015

"Forever young... that's how I will remember Mrs. Wilson, in the hallways of our high school, always with a warm smile, or more often, laughing with students and eager to encourage all of us kids... her kids, to do the best we could, and not to give in to fear of failure. She embodied a wonderful spirit that made us feel that everything was possible...maybe even college, and gave off an aura of decency that made us strive to do what was right, and I confess... even I fell under her spell. Mrs. Wilson truly was one of those great role models, as my pal, Glenda, wrote, who made you feel better about the world just knowing that she was afoot somewhere on the planet, sharing her magic with another generation of kids who would also never forget her, and I am sad to learn that she has left us. Like other great spirits who've gone before, she will come back to all of us at certain moments of our lives, and we will remember her with a smile."

This tribute was added by Janet Baas-Payne on 29th January 2015

"Mrs. Wilson counseled me in tough times in high school. She was a very kind and easy to talk to. I could not get an order in for my senior year book and was promised I could buy an extra that would be available. I didn't get one so she gave me hers. Mrs. Wilson's was the first signature in that book. She always thought of others first and was fare with everyone. My condolences to her family."

This tribute was added by Randy Smith on 28th January 2015

"Shirley was the best! I remember meeting her in grade school with my buddy Brian, soon after I would meet the rest of the Clan. Shirley would high lite your better assets and always build you up. I can't tell you what a positive impact that had on me as a young boy. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family. RIP Mrs Wilson...well done with the photos and site Kev..."

This tribute was added by Dolores Jarvis on 28th January 2015

"The last time I saw Shirley was at the 30th reunion of the class of 75. We went together and had a great time. We often went to parties following sport events.  She can now join Frank, Pat Cleveland,. Lou Young and others.  She was a beautiful wife, mother and co-worker.
Bob and I send our love to all. Dolores"

This tribute was added by Gerald Birch on 28th January 2015

"Mrs. Wilson was a wonderful person and was one of my best teachers. She was always there to help you. I'll never forget her."

This tribute was added by Dennis Downs on 28th January 2015

"Mrs. Wilson was probably the greatest person I've ever met. If it wasn't for her, my mother would have never been able to attend sporting events. No matter if I won or lost, I could look up at the stands and see her and my mom always cheering. She wasn't just my counselor, she was my neighbor and I'm blessed to have known her and I'm much better for it. My prayers go out to the Wilson family during this time."

This tribute was added by Mary Schwark on 28th January 2015

"Shirley Wilson was my high school gym teacher, but I felt as if I really got to know her during planning for the Class of 1962's 40, 45 and 50 year reunions, all of which she attended, looking and acting amazingly young and vibrant. I remember asking her how in the world she was able to so successfully combine being a wife, mother, teacher and mentor. She summed it up in two words:  "my mother." What a tribute! I last spoke with Shirley in August 2013. In her presence I felt as if she would always be available for conversations and reunions.  RIP, Shirley. I will be out of the country until after your memorial service, but I guarantee I would be there if I could.   Mary Vander Ven Schwark"

This tribute was added by Karen Lechner on 27th January 2015

"I remember Mrs. Wilson as she was my counselor at CHS. When I was going through a hard time in my life, she was there to guide me with her gentle and kind heart. The Wilson's bought the house my parents built on Shenandoah, I hope they loved it as much as I did. What a beautiful family they raised there, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you."

This tribute was added by Eunice Teel on 27th January 2015

"Mrs. Wilson was such a strong, positive example for all of us. She never missed a chance to share her brilliant smile and offer words of encouragement to those of us who weren't exactly athletes! Her belief in our abilities helped us to believe in ourselves. My condolences to her family."

This tribute was added by Terri Bertalan on 27th January 2015

"Mrs. Wilson was an outstanding teacher. Anyone that was around her had to smile as she made everyone happy. She was always encouraging you to be the best and made sure you knew you were the best in her eyes. Sorry for you loss"

This tribute was added by Jill Matthews on 27th January 2015

"Kevin, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your family. I still remember your Moms laugh like it was yesterday! She was a wonderful person. From Jill Jacobus Matthews."

This tribute was added by Wendy Rideout on 27th January 2015

"I adored Mrs. Wilson! She was always smiling! My prayers go out to the entire family."

This tribute was added by Linda Bush on 27th January 2015

"My Gym teacher from 1960, my madden name was Linda Beard class of 1961.  Mrs. Wilson was always full of energy and a great teacher, she pushed me because I was so shy"

This tribute was added by Glenda Shepard on 27th January 2015

"What a shining  example of what a woman should be. Full of joy for all she did in her work, her home, her family. As a Clawson High  graduate, Mrs.Wilson was a favorite teacher and later a counselor for six years. She was a terrific influence on my life and am truly grateful to have known her. My sincere condolences to her family."

This tribute was added by Merri Havelock Johnson on 27th January 2015

"Awwww - So sorry to hear this news. I loved Ms. Wilson, as did everyone who came to know her. May God keep His loving arms wrapped around her family and dear friends during this time of loss. Love and prayers to everyone. (Hugs)"

This tribute was added by Patrick Connelly on 27th January 2015

"My prayers are with the entire Wilson family and your loss. Mrs. Wilson was my counselor in high school and was always very supportive and encouraging. To this date, I'm not sure why I was chosen to represent my class at Boys State, given that my grades were not on par with the requirements, but I believe Mrs. Wilson had a role in my selection. This experience gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity to see first hand the world outside the comforts of Clawson High School. She was always pleasant and could brighten your day when you needed it most with a simple smile, or hug. It's rare to thank the people that played a role in your life when you were 16 or 17 years old, but Mrs. Wilson had to know the impact she had, not just on me, but the many kids that benefited from just knowing her. Clawson High School was lucky to have such a wonderful caring soul that left a wonderful legacy for generations of Clawson graduates. Patrick Connelly-Class of 1980."

This tribute was added by Vicki Wilson on 27th January 2015

"Shirley was a wonderful person.  I was lucky to have known her as my mother-in-law.  She was always a positive influence on everyone she knew.  She will be missed.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of the Wilson clan."

This tribute was added by JoAnn Crawford Bouse on 27th January 2015

"She was the ultimate role model, a strong, intelligent, kind and capable woman who raised a family and influenced her students to be their best selves, as she was."

This tribute was added by Len Loving on 27th January 2015

"Mrs. Wilson was not only my counselor, but also my neighbor. I felt special living next door to someone like her over the years as she was a hugely loved and influential person in many lives at school — and I got to rake leaves with her and talk anytime! I'm grateful for her warmth towards me and the feeling that someone was listening. I felt her care at school as well as at home.

I carry only the biggest respect and appreciation for her and the warmth of her big smile and heart. Thoughts and blessings to her family."

This tribute was added by Tina Bates Butler on 27th January 2015

"I was lucky enough to know and loved Mrs. Wilson while in HS in the mid 70s.  She was always SO KIND, and I knew I had a friend in her --- I loved her smile, Her Mrs. Wilson Smile could make a hard day, seem brighter.  Blessings and Love to you all, Tina class of 78"

This tribute was added by Beth Kerr on 27th January 2015

"Clawson High School...Class of 1962   Wonderful Memories of Mrs. Wilson all through High School.  She was my Gym teacher and Cheerleading Sponser all through High School.  Always a beautiful smile and a wonderful Mentor.  Mrs. Wilson touched so many lives of students and her many wonderful friends during her life time.  May she now rest in Peace   Thinking of her wonderful family...she was so proud of each one of you....She will always hold a special place in my heart.  Heaven has a new angel and she as been made well. Love, Beth Farinel Kerr   Kokomo, Indiana"

This tribute was added by nancy taylor on 27th January 2015

"I knew Shirley, first in school, then as a great neighbor on Park Dr.  We shared many parties, vacations and fun times thru the years.  Bless her for all the good she did.  I saw all you kids grow up and turn into great adults.  At most of the weddings as Joe was doing the pictures.  Say hi to Joe Shirl.  Love, Nan Taylor"

This tribute was added by Janet Long on 27th January 2015

"A very lovely lady who did so much for so many.   Thinking of you all and sending love.  

Janet Harper Long"

This tribute was added by Laura McLean on 27th January 2015

"I loved Mrs.Wilson!  Always wished she was my counselor, but it went alphabetically, so I was assigned someone else :/    Mrs. Wilson always had an effervescent light in her eyes and a smile every day.  What a joy she was!  God Bless Mrs. Wilson and her whole family."

This tribute was added by Marilyn Nathanson on 27th January 2015

"I have been so blessed to know all you kids - and to have had your mom as a friend, mentor and role model for so many years.  Her sunny disposition, positive attitude, welcoming, warm smile has been a big influence on the person I am.  She's always beamed with pride when talking and sharing stories about all of you! I know she lives on in you  as she does in me. Know I'm sending thoughts, hugs and love to all of you! Nath"

This tribute was added by Carol Miknis on 27th January 2015

"I will always remember her donning a cheerleading uniform and cartwheeling into the gym at a pep assembly in the early 70's.  She stole the show and everybody LOVED it!"

This tribute was added by LouAnne Kirkwood on 27th January 2015

"I remember Mrs. Wilson as always being friendly and kind to me.   I'm sure she is remembered well by many.  It sounds like she had a rich and full life.  So many grandchildren! Good for her."

This tribute was added by Ferol Acton on 27th January 2015

"Shirley was a wonderful friend.  I will never forget our trip to Daytona Beach, Hawaii, and the wonderful vacations up north.  A lovely lady with a marvelous family.  Say hi to Bob Acton for me Shirley."

This tribute was added by Jennifer Kondak on 27th January 2015

"Mrs. Wilson encouraged me to go to college and helped me every step of the way to attend Alma.  I remember her bringing me the snail mail letter from the college into the gym, at CHS, telling me I had been accepted during the school day (there was another at home later in the day).  She was always positive!
Thank you, Mrs. Wilson."

This tribute was added by Julie Pingston on 27th January 2015

"Mrs. Wilson touched so many lives at CHS..mine included.  I remember when I was trying to decide where to go on the college and she got me really excited about Alma College.  I went to Alma which set a great foundation for my future.  She was a treasure.  Blessings to your family."

This tribute was added by judy sutfin on 27th January 2015

"Thoughts are with you all. Your Mom is what my Mom would have called a "fine woman"! Mental hugs to all -"


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Kevin Wilson

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