Life Story Visitation
Life Story Service
A reception in the Life Story Center will follow immediately after the service.
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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Pauline Birdsall, it is easy to see that there was no greater gift in her life than her family. She treasured her roles as a wife and mother; however, she would have argued that nothing was better than becoming a “Nona” to her two beloved grandchildren. Meticulous, organized, and hardworking, Pauline gave everything she did her very best, and she expected the same from her sons. Life will never be the same without her here, and she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
The 1950s brought us some exciting days. James Dean and Marilyn Monroe were big names in Hollywood while Elvis Presley took the music world by storm. By the end of decade, we had become a nation of 50 states with the additions of both Alaska and Hawaii. As summer was drawing to a close, Joseph D. and Rose Marie Tavolacci Schiavone were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1951. Their wait was finally over when the baby girl they named Pauline made her arrival on August 3rd. She was one of four as she was raised in the family home alongside her siblings, Louise, Patrina and Albert. Her father was a photographer, and Pauline loved going with him to his studio.
In many ways Pauline was a typical young girl of her generation. She was raised in the Catholic faith, which was the cornerstone on which her entire life was built. As a student Pauline attended St. Augustine School and graduated from O’Brien High School in 1969. While in high school she had an opportunity to travel to Europe, visiting six different countries.
New and exciting changes were in store for Pauline when she met the man with whom she would share the best years of her life. His name was John Birdsall, and they met while working together at Ridgeview Manor nursing home. However, John always said they met in high school, which was something Pauline never did recall. The couple began spending time together, and after dating for five years they were married on November 16, 1974. Together they welcomed two children, David in 1977 and Joseph in 1986, into their hearts and home.
There was never anything that was more important to Pauline than her family. As a mother she had high expectations for her boys, and she didn’t give them much slack when things weren’t quite up to par. Pauline was heavily involved in their school as they attended St. Joseph School where she was head of the PTO and was a playground supervisor. She believed in the values of the church and made it a priority for her boys to have these same values as part of their education. As a family they loved spending summers at their cottage on the island at Pine Lake. These were always a great time of bonding as a family and where Pauline’s gift of hospitality could truly shine. Although she traveled to Europe among other places, Pine Lake was Pauline’s favorite place on earth. She always had an open door, and everyone who visited was always well fed. Pauline was fantastic at making traditional Italian foods, and cooking for the ones she cared about was one of the ways she told them they were loved. Even though these Italian foods were her mainstay, she was open to trying new things, too.
Later in life Pauline was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother. Pauline loved taking care of her grand kids and went above and beyond in spoiling them with “Nona’s” love and gifts. Through the life she lived, she showed that family is everything. Pauline was forever taking care of people and showing them how much they were cherished. A very expressive and strong communicator, she regularly made calls and sent messages to her family and friends. She told them she loved them so often, it is one of the ways she will be best remembered. These weren’t just words to Pauline as she truly meant them.
Throughout her life, Pauline liked using her time and talents to stay busy. She was highly motivated and took the initiative to make sure things got done. This happened regularly when Pauline worked as the executive administrative assistant at Safety Services. She was the one to organize the company potluck as well as orchestrate company sales meetings and exhibitions. In her rare moments of downtime, Pauline enjoyed watching old westerns and cooking shows.
All who knew Pauline Birdsall would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out; every day she lived her faith and values. She had an amazing quality to see each person who came into her world, as warm and wonderful human beings and loved them uniquely. She nurtured and cared for others and was happiest when surrounded by family and friends. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
Pauline Birdsall, a lifelong resident of Kalamazoo died on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at her residence. Members of her family include her husband, John; her 2 Children: David (Anna) Birdsall, Joseph Birdsall; 2 grandchildren: Roman, Maisie; 2 sisters: Louise Schiavone, Patrina Hawkins. She was preceded in death by her brother Albert Schiavone and a brother-in-law Larry Hawkins. Cremation has taken place. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation on Friday, March 25 from 5-7 pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Life Story Services will be held at 11 am on Saturday, March 26 at the same location with a reception to follow in the Life Story Center. Visit Pauline’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Centrica Care Navigators.