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.
Gull Arbor Senior Living
7788 E DE Ave
Richland, MI 49083
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Sharon Annette (Kozar) Whited passed away peacefully on April 9, 2020, at Gull Arbor Senior Living, in Richland Michigan. Sharon was born on February 20, 1940, the second of seven children born to William and Gladys Kozar, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Growing up in the 1940s, for seven years there were just two children: Sandra and Sharon. Their mother, Gladys, dressed them alike in the same dresses; Sandy’s was blue and Sharon’s pink. Every Saturday, Gladys took Sandy and Sharon on the city bus downtown to tap dancing lessons, then to lunch and a movie. When they went out shopping, Sandy carried all their packages so that Sharon could skip all the way home. Her father, who loved to write poetry, would forever be quoted with the saying about Sharon Annette, “She’s a sweetheart, you bet, you bet.” Willie and Gladys would have five more children: Sidney, Bill, Laurie, Stephanie and Mary. Sharon attended St. Augustine School, where she was a high school cheerleader and on the homecoming court. While in high school, she took a trip to New York City and to Chicago. At that time, Sharon worked at the Gilmore Tea Room (and she wasn’t sure what Vichyssoise soup, a cold potato soup, was or how to spell it.) This may have caused a problem with her employer. Sandy and Sharon remained close with Sharon’s high school friends, Harriett, Margaret, Judy and Pat and until recently they met for monthly luncheons.
On March 3, 1962, Sharon married David Whited, the love of her life. David preceded her in death on February 24, 2020, after nearly 58 years of marriage.
Sharon and David met when they both worked for Sears. There, they shared a cup of cup of coffee, fell in love and were soon married. They had two daughters, Terra and Kelly. They moved from Kalamazoo to a suburb of Chicago and then to Alma, Michigan, where they lived on a golf course and enjoyed golfing. Sharon always made her house a loving home and welcomed all. For many years, the entire extended Kozar family gathered there and stayed for several days every Thanksgiving. These are fond memories of happy family times shared by all.
Sharon loved the summer. She loved sunbathing, but not swimming. Always tan, pretty and energetic, she loved to exercise. Sharon always dressed in the latest fashions. If her daughters wanted to go for ice cream at the Tasty Freeze, Sharon agreed only if they would walk to burn off the calories. She took Terra and Kelly shopping and purchased whatever they wanted if they agreed to not tell their dad how much money they had spent, but only how much they had saved on sales.
Sharon and David took their children to Disneyland and up North on ski trips. Their house was impeccable, she knew if you went into the living room, which was reserved for special occasions, because of the footprint indentations in the carpeting. If you happened to get up to go to the bathroom, your bed might be made before your return. And, many times, the dishes were cleared and washed even before you were done eating.
When their children had grown, Sharon and David moved to Kansas, where Sharon resumed her career at Sears. David was a successful businessman, and they were fortunate enough to travel. They took Caribbean cruises, vacationed in Hawaii, and went skiing at Vail, Colorado.
After five years of living in Kansas, they moved to Portage, Michigan, across the street from her sister, Sandy and brother-in-law Bill, where they enjoyed boating on Austin Lake. Many family parties took place there. Because of their love of country music, they vacationed in Branson, Missouri, every year for several years. Their favorite song was, Can I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life?
Sharon and Dave loved to play cards with her parents, family and friends. She loved reading and watching Lifetime and Hallmark movies and was known to cry when reading Hallmark cards.
Sharon made holidays special. She loved Christmas and snow and snowmen. She made every day special for her grandchildren. They had tea parties using her best china. She baked with them, and she made them pancakes in the shape of Bugs Bunny. Her granddaughters played dress up with her high-heeled shoes. The shopping tradition continued as she took them shopping for school clothes and many other things. They would stay for a week at a time, which was a week full of activities like walking on the celery flats and swimming. However, their their favorite day was probably Thursday, when they went shopping with Grandma Kozar and had lunch at Steak ‘n Shake.
Sharon continued to work for Sears, in the men’s department, and jokingly said that she “worked in men’s underwear” or “measured men’s inseams.” She was known for her subtly sly and clever humor. When Sandy bought a bird feeder, Sharon said, “I didn’t know you had a bird.” Every April Fool’s day, she’d ask, “How did you get that hole in your shirt?” an April Fool’s joke tradition now passed along to her great-grandchildren. Her laugh was so special and her joy was contagious and would light up the room. Her siblings all agree that she was the sweetest of the seven, and their favorite saying is, “Thanks for Shar’in.”
Sharon attended St. Augustine Cathedral with her family growing up. She remained a devoted Catholic, always attending church wherever she lived. Even when she was physically unable to get out, she continued to watch weekly Sunday Mass on TV. Sharon is remembered most of all for her genuinely caring and loving spirit. Hers and David’s story was a true love story. She loved all her family. She was dedicated to her parents, and later, took her widowed mother out lunch and shopping every week for many years. The tradition of family Thanksgiving reunions still continues, now with over 50 family members in attendance each year.
Kind and upbeat, always content and grateful with an unassuming goodness. In 2017, Sharon and David moved to Story Point Independent Living in Portage. Sharon was stricken with Parkinson’s disease which took more and more of her strength. She will be greatly missed. No one could ever take her place.
Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, William and Gladys Kozar, and by her husband, David Whited.
Sharon is survived by her daughters, Terra (Scott) Morgan and Kelly (Geoff) Isenhath; six siblings, Sandy (Bill) Shauman, Sidney (Bob) Brush, Bill (Ellen) Kozar, Laurie Kozar, Stephanie (Dan) Watson, and Mary Morgan; six grandchildren Matthew Wiltshire, Michael (Allison) Wiltshire, Kayla (Caleb) Brown, Irene Morgan, Danika Isenhath and Jaida Isenhath; four great-grandchildren, Emberlee, Olivija, Izaiyah and Roanin as well as many nieces and nephews.
A Graveside service has taken place. A Celebration of Life will be scheduled for a later date. Visit Sharon’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guest book. Contributions can be made to Hospice of SW Michigan or Gull Arbor Senior Living 7788 E DE Ave, Richland, MI 49083.