Life Story Celebration
Life Story Reception
Friday, October 13, 2023
5:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks and stories will be shared.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Kalamazoo Animal Rescue
P.O. Box 3295
Kalamazoo, MI 49003
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With an infectious smile, quick wit, and a passion for life, Michelle Yingling lived a life enriched by family and friends. Michelle loved everyone and could always inspire a smile and make a friend with anyone. She was grateful for every moment she shared with her loved ones. Michelle never needed fancy things, and remained bubbly even in the face of life's greatest challenges. A devoted wife, mother, sister, and friend, Michelle will long be remembered and deeply missed.
Michelle was born on March 2, 1963, in Bay City, MI, the daughter of Charles and Marilyn Rosebush. Michelle's father worked security at General Motors, and her mother ran the county jail. Michelle was one of four girls and always had a spicy personality. The girls all shared one bathroom; imagine the fights they had! Despite the bathroom wars, Michelle was a natural protector who always defended her sisters and all underdogs. Michelle's love for animals began in her youth with her poodle, Bridget.
Michelle graduated from Bay City All Saints High School in 1982. After graduating, Michelle moved to Kalamazoo and attended Western Michigan University. While pursuing her accounting degree, she also bartended at Pappy's Place, Peking Palace, and Southside Warehouse throughout the years. Michelle and her roommate, Kim, forged a lifelong friendship, sharing many laughs and good times.
After graduating with her Bachelor's degree, Michelle moved to Chicago and lived on Lakeshore Drive. During her two years there, she met the love of her life, Tom Yingling. Tom was instantly attracted to Michelle's big personality. The couple commuted between Chicago and Kalamazoo until Michelle moved back to West Michigan, and they happily married on September 28, 1991.
Michelle and Tom were delighted to become parents when their daughter Megan was born in 1994. Michelle lovingly embraced the role of Mom and was thrilled when her daughter Morgan completed the family in 1997. Michelle's daughters were her world, and she remained fully engaged even while working a demanding career in pre-sales for computer software (SAP). While Michelle was proud of her career, she was proudest of her daughters. She never missed a chance to talk about their latest accomplishments and adventures. Her daughters first and greatest fan, Michelle enthusiastically cheered on their every endeavor. She even earned a yellow card once for yelling so loudly at Morgan's lacrosse game. And she always made sure that Megan knew she was the best swimmer (even if it was a white lie).
While her home may have been in Mattawan, everyone who knew Michelle knows her heart was in South Haven living on her houseboat during the summer, her “happy place”; and as late into the fall as Tom would let her keep the boat in! Mother's Day was always spent in South Haven, and she loved visiting Megan and Morgan when they worked at Captain Lou's. Dingy rides and her “boater friends” were some of her favorite recent memories. She also loved her time on Eagle Lake and shared her love of the lake with family and friends with pontoon boat rides and beach days. Michelle also cherished her “date nights” with her friend Sheri enjoying munchies and live music. As much as she loved her Michigan Summers, when it got cold, she loved yearly trips to Jamaica, mon!
A person who found joy in many things, Michelle loved hosting parties, traveling, music, cheering on her favorite sports teams, and animals. She was a great host and an excellent delegator, often leading with, "We should have this for dinner…You guys go to the store and get it." Euchre parties and huge Christmas celebrations became wonderful traditions. She loved live music and typically found her way up on stage to sing with the performers. Michelle shared her father's passion for the Detroit Lions. Proudly donning her jersey, she never failed her team. Michelle always had dogs and, despite being allergic, even a cat. Once, she went to the animal rescue to adopt a dog and came home with two! She usually named her beloved four-legged companions with Jamaican names. She also helped Megan raise her dog, Pete. Her beloved Marley is left to miss his mom, but she is reunited with Nikko, Shadow, and Irie.
Anywhere she went, near or far, she made friends. Her infectious smile and outgoing attitude always made everyone feel welcome. She looked for the bright spot in any situation and exuded that positivity to others. Her larger-than-life personality will be missed beyond measure.
Sadly, Michelle grew very sick over the last year. Tom, Megan, and Morgan never gave up hope. Rearranging their busy schedules to ensure Michelle always had one of them by her side, allowing her to pass in the comforts of her home. Without a doubt, the world feels far less joyful without Michelle's bright and beautiful companionship. As we navigate the uncertain future in her absence, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories. In each moment, we choose to live wholeheartedly, extend our friendship to a stranger, cheer on our loved ones' dreams, spend time at the lake, confidently meet life's challenges, and share a belly laugh with loved ones, we celebrate the infinite ways Michelle gifted our lives. In doing so, we keep her spirit alive and inspire others the way she so inspired us.
Michelle Yingling died on October 6, 2023, at her home. She was preceded in death by her dad Charles Rosebush and by her in-laws, Richard “Dicky Poo” and Ellen Yingling. Surviving are her husband, Tom; daughters: Megan Yingling (Zachary Nelson) and Morgan Yingling (Matthew Wojno); mother: Marilyn Rosebush; sisters: Sheryl (Mike) Metzler, Cathy (Karl) Cruise, and Connie (David) Jacobs; sister-in-law: Lori Yingling; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Cremation has taken place. A Life Story Celebration will be held on Friday (October 13) at 4 pm at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr; Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 375-2900 followed by a reception where food, drinks, and stories will be shared in the Life Story Center. Visit Michelle’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to share your favorite memories and photos of Michelle and to sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue.