Shirley Joan (Lemke) Mills passed to heaven peacefully December 23, 2013 at the age of 79. Born in Detroit to the late Arthur and Lenna (Ashton) Lemke on November 6, 1934, Shirley grew up at the family’s resort on the north shore of Green Bay outside Cedar River, MI. She met John Mills, who predeceased her earlier this year, while in college. They married in 1956. About one thousand adults remember Shirley as “Mrs. Mills,” their favorite first grade teacher in Mancelona, after she and John moved to nearby Bellaire. Excellence in her work brought Shirley recognition as a state semi-finalist in the 1985 Teacher in Space program and a year teaching in Scotland on a Fulbright Exchange. She retired in 1990. Unquenchable thirst for adventure led Shirley to all seven continents, over the Arctic Circle, and to exotic locations with some of her grandchildren.
Shirley is survived by her sons Paul (Margaret) of Munger and Neil (Lisa) of Lowell, grandchildren Calina, Ian, Aja, Forrest, Nigel, Matteus, Kateri, Isaac, Malachi, Laurine, Kolbe, Lucia, Levi, Sarah, and Mercedes, sisters Verda McGowan of Kenneth City, FL, Claudia (Carl) Arko of Gladstone, MI, and Lorna Phillips of Pewaukee, WI, and in-laws Joan Brunett of Lake Orion, MI and Norman (Dorothy) Mills of Davisburg, MI. A funeral is planned for 11 am, January 4, 2014 at Trinity-St. James Lutheran Church in Munger, MI. Visitation will be at the church from 10 am till service time, and a luncheon will follow in the church’s multi-purpose room.