Shirlie "Shirts" W. Willett

Shirlie “Shirts” W. Willett, 93, of Essexville, our beloved and devoted father and gramps was born into eternal life on the morning of Sunday, February 8, 2015 at his home. Shirlie was born in Essexville on February 26, 1921, the son of the late Rama and Lena (Kinney) Willett. Through her brother, Shirlie was introduced to the love of his life, the former Mary Jane Krause. They dated, fell in love and were united in marriage on July 6, 1946. Sadly, Mary Jane preceded Shirlie in death on October 4, 2000. Dedicated to our country, Shirlie proudly served in World War II with the U.S. Navy. As an extremely hardworking man, Shirlie worked for Hess Cartage & Co. and was a member of the Teamsters. He was a gifted woodworker and will forever be remembered for his wonderful stories, his inspiring personality and love of nature and family. Left to cherish his memory are his children, Joseph and wife, Audrey Willett, Connie Wisniewski, Robert and wife, Kathy Willett, David Willett and Dennis and wife, Pam Willett. Shirlie was the proud and loving gramps of Brian and wife, Lisa Myers, Becky and husband, Ryan Charney, Cara and husband, Paul McGinnis, Chris Espinosa, Dan and wife, Barb Willett, Mark Willett, Chad and wife, Amber Willett and Kallyn Willett and Rodney Ellison. Shirlie is also survived by his sister-in-law, Fifi Willett, along with many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents and his wife, Shirlie was welcomed home to heaven by his son-in-law, Edward Wisniewski and siblings, Russell and wife, Lola Willett, Irene Richards, Thelma and husband, Bernard Karner, Merlin, Virgil and Ranny Willett. Shirlie’s family will be present to receive visitors on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 from 2:00 PM until 8:00 PM with a 7:00 PM Vigil for the Deceased at Skorupski Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 955 N. Pine Rd., Hampton Twp. On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, Shirlie will be taken to St. Jude Thaddeus Parish (St. John the Evangelist), 614 Pine St., Essexville, where visiting will continue from 9:00 AM until the time of his 10:00 AM Funeral Liturgy. Fr. Dale Orlik will officiate with the Rite of Committal to follow in St. Patrick Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be directed to the wishes of the family. Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family online at

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  1. My sincerest heart felt condolences and sympathy to all the Willett family members. I will always have fond memories of Mr. Willett, including but not limited to, putting in the awesome and huge sand-box the backyard, and his smiling face and joyful wave to me whenever I walked or drove by his home. My God cradle him in His Arms.

  2. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Willett family. We will dearly miss Shirtsy, he was a great inspiration to both of us and was full of knowledge, if we needed any information we could always depend on him to help us resolve the problem. We will miss him dearly.We will miss him coming over or us going over and sitting on the screened in porch and visiting with him.We learned so much from him over the years.He was always there for us and we enjoyed having him for our neighbor and watching over his place when he could not be up here. Kenny Marhsall and Cheryl Forro of West Branch.

  3. We are so sad to hear about the loss of our dear friend and neighbor Shirlie. Mildred shared so many laughs and visits with Shirlie on his porch and on her swing. He took us on so many rides on his cart down to the river. He was the best neighbor and friend you could have. A very wise man and would do anything he could to help anyone. He showed me how to trim trees and would let you borrow anything to get the job done. We enjoyed helping him with his flower beds and he was very proud of his flowers. Went for rides out in the countryside with him. He will be so sadly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Willett family during this difficult time. Love, Mildred Marks and family.

  4. Dear Family. . My husband remembers him as a young child. . His Dad was Virgil Willett. . . Just wanted to send condolences to you all. . .Virgil and Jan Schroeder

  5. Words can be like fallen leaves. Or even rain drops gone and forgotten.
    My beloved Uncle’s actions spoke so loud that they will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace Anthony James Marande

  6. To the family of Mr. Willettt… I did not know father/uncle, brother, etc., nor have I ever even been to Michigan. However, I recently found something on line I decided to buy and then discovered it apparently belonged to him. It is a watch, with the Teamsters Emblem on the dial and an inscription on the back that reads: “40 Years, Shirlie W. Willett, Local 486”

    I hope that you don’t mind I mention this. But, it certainly does mean something to me to have found something about someone I never knew. If it were not for this watch, I would never have been introduced to the love and appreciation I can tell everyone felt for and about “Shirts.” I will always be reminded of him, his service to our country and his great craftsmanship and dedication to his job, each time I wear this watch. And, I can tell you, the person who sold it to me did a fabulous job keeping it in great condition. It is a real beauty. Thanks so much.


    William (Bill) Oliver
    Milford, CT

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