Shirley Ann Kiisk, age 87, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Friday, September 9th.
Shirley was born August 30, 1935 in Saginaw, MI. Shirley will be lovingly remembered by the love of her life, her husband of 65 years, Toivo “Toby”, daughter Beth Kiisk-Milanowski, son-in-law Robert Milanowski, and their 4 children: Emily, Nicholas, Nathan, and Kathryn Milanowski. She is survived by them, her brother Theodore “Sunny” (Barb) Melzo, additional 3 grandchildren, Mari Kathryn Gilbert, Rebecca (Tim) Benzenberg, and David (Mindy) Gilbert, 7 great-grandchildren, Trevor, Zachary, Joshua, Logan, Grace, Owen, Reed, and many nieces & nephews. She is preceded in death and reunited once again in Heaven with her daughter Kathryn Lynn Gilbert, mother Opal (Bosserdet) Melzo, father Leo LaFray, step-father Ted Melzo, father & mother in-law Ferdinand & Elfriede Kiisk.
Shirley attended Saginaw High School in the graduating class of 1954, worked in several retail and ‘key punching’ careers, and enjoyed serving her community as a member of the Shields Lioness Club. She was an active member in her church community at Holy Spirit Parish in Saginaw, MI, from teaching Sunday school to the Ladies planning committee for church luncheons, bazaars and many events. Shirley loved cooking and baking up a storm in the kitchen with her family, spoiling all of her dogs & grand-dogs, and playing the slot machines at the casinos. She enjoyed excursions and visiting with the residents at Heather Hills. Recently, her ladies shopping trips and happy hours were some of the highlights of her week.
Known as “Nana” to many, Shirley loved nothing more than supporting her grandchildren who were the pride & joy of her life. She could be found proudly showing off “her kids” pins in the stands of every baseball, football, lacrosse, diving, and hockey game as well as the audience of every musical, dance recital, and choir concert cheering on her EGR Pioneers or SV Vikings. She continued to expand her team color wardrobe & pin collection to the University of Michigan Wolverines (Emily) and Miami University of Ohio RedHawks (Nathan).
Family and friends are invited to celebrate Shirley’s life Wednesday, September 14th from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM with words of remembrance beginning at 7 PM at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home (4291 Cascade Rd, Grand Rapids, MI). The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, September 15th at 1 PM at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church (2750 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI) followed by a gathering at the Milanowski Household. A burial ceremony will be held on Friday, September 16th at 11 AM at Oakwood Cemetery (6100 Gratiot Rd, Saginaw, MI).
Our family welcomes memorial gifts to be made to the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation or Paws with a Cause.