Life Story Celebration
Friday, October 20, 2023
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks and stories will be shared.
Friday, October 20, 2023
4:00 PM EDT
St. Augustine Cathedral
542 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
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.
St. Augustine Elementary School
600 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Shirley Garzelloni was a selfless and generous woman to know and love. She modeled a life rich with hard work, putting others first, and being an exceptionally loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Her warm personality, cheerful demeanor, and infectious smile will forever be remembered by her many special friends and students.
Shirley was born on May 11, 1936. She was the second child of four children, her birth brought much happiness to her loving parents. She was raised by hardworking, faithful parents. Her father owned a pharmacy in Richmond, MI and her mother was a homemaker. Most of her childhood was spent at the family cottage on Lake Huron in Lakeport. She was a proud graduate of the Class of 1954 from St. Augustine High School, Richmond. Shirley had a lifetime dream of becoming a teacher and enrolled at Nazareth College.
Shirley met Bill at a Western Michigan University dance in the fall of her first year. Shirley graduated from Nazareth College and Bill from Western Michigan University, they were joined in marriage on January 28, 1961, at St. Augustine Church in Richmond. Together they raised four wonderful children: Margaret, Beth, Kathleen, and Jim.
As a mother, Shirley treasured her time with her children. She instilled in her children the value of people and to treat everyone with kindness.
As a teacher, Shirley started her career in Richmond before later transferring to St. Augustine Elementary. Shirley left a lasting impression on her students and never fully retired. She volunteered well into her eighties including as an interim principal. Shirley taught fourth grade and had a gift for teaching reading and connecting with all her students. She worked long, hard hours ensuring her children had the best of her each and every day. Shirley or Mrs. G as she was affectionally know by her students, was well respected throughout the school community as everyone knew that she always gave everything to help her students succeed.
One of her greatest joys was spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren either talking, playing cards, or just hanging out. She was an avid reader. Often, when Bill was fly fishing, Shirley went with him and always took a book to read. She and Bill enjoyed traveling to visit family in Port Huron, Syracuse and San Francisco. Active parents and grandparents, they never missed an opportunity to attend their children's or grandchildren's special events and school functions. Committed to her faith, she remained very supportive of St. Augustine and Hackett Schools. Shirley lived a very full life and never took a single moment for granted.
Shirley left a legacy of unconditional love through many small acts of love and great sacrifice. Her ability to accept life’s challenges, her spirit of knowledge and teaching, and her wonderful sense of humor, will be dearly missed. May her loved ones reflect on her life with great happiness and may they honor her life by always looking for the good in others.
Members of her family include her husband of 62 years, Bill; children: Margaret (Greg) Martin, Beth (Bruce) Hylen, Kathleen (David) Karnes, and Jim Garzelloni; 9 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren: her sister, Carole Fichtner, and many nieces and nephews.
Please join the family for a Life Story Celebration on Friday, October 20, from 1-3 p.m. where food and stories will be shared at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 375-2900. A 4 p.m. mass will follow at St. Augustine Cathedral. Visit Shirley’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to share your favorite memories and photos of Shirley and to sign her guestbook. Because of her dedication to children, she wanted all memorial contributions made to St. Augustine Elementary School.