Shirley A. Christensen


Shirley A. Christensenpassed away early Friday morning, December 19, 2014 at her home with family by her side, age 67. Shirley was born March 31, 1947 in Kent County, Michigan, the adopted daughter of Lewis and Elnora (Cook) Newman. She was united in marriage to Gary Christensen on October 14, 1967 in Edmore, Michigan.


Shirley enjoyed cross stitching and making quilts. She and her gang the “Wee Care Stitchers” made numerous quilts that were donated to the baby pantry. Shirley attended several local churches in her community. She had a love of music and loved sharing her gift with everyone. Shirley played the piano at several churches and taught piano for over 35 years. She touched many hearts with her musical ability. Shirley will be dearly missed.


Shirley is survived by her loving husband of 47 years, Gary Christensen; daughter, JoLynn Steffes; a  granddaughter, Meagan Steffes; all of Edmore, birth mother, Phyllis Brown of Ionia; 3 half-brothers: John (Frances) Brown, Ed (Debbie) Brown and Roger (Teresa ) Brown. Shirley was preceded in death by her beloved parents, Lewis and Elnora Newman and half sister and brother in-law, Cathy and Tom Avery.


            In keeping with Shirley’s wishes cremation has taken place and a memorial service is being planned at a later date. Those wishing to do a memorial contribution are asked to consider Spectrum Health Hospice.  


          Condolences may be expressed to the family utilizing the guestbook below.





Discussion closed
  • Kristin Carrick (Monday, December 29 14 02:54 am EST)

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Tom Deja (Saturday, December 27 14 10:34 pm EST)

    To Shirley's family you have my deepest sympathy and you will be in my prayers. I didn't see Shirley much after High School but do have good memories she was a fun person to be around.

  • Mary Lou Baez (Monday, December 22 14 09:20 pm EST)

    I cherish my childhood memories with you all and feel pricked to have been able to share in the love and laughter through the years. God received a one of a kind angle. Love ya Jo and I pray that
    your dad, daughter and yourself find peace in knowing she's watching over you

  • Valerie (Sunday, December 21 14 04:09 pm EST)

    Dear JoLynn and family,
    We are so sorry to hear about your mom. She is up with the angels playing the piano for them. I know this is a difficult time, I heard that you made many more memories before she passed. Our thoughts
    and prayers are with you in this difficult time.
    The Binge Family

  • Lesa Schmidt (Sunday, December 21 14 02:35 pm EST)

    Our two daughters and a son were among Shirley's many piano students. She was a wonderful teacher, always kind and helpful. We are very saddened to hear of your recent loss. With loving thoughts and
    prayers, the Schmidt Family

  • Jeff and Sue Maguire (Sunday, December 21 14 08:33 am EST)

    Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Shirley was one of the best and she will be missed.

  • Tim & Patty Kersjes (Saturday, December 20 14 07:59 pm EST)

    We are sad to hear of your loss. Please know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Sallie Compson (Saturday, December 20 14 06:06 pm EST)

    Jolynn, I know your mama is saving a seat for you in heaven. I hurt for you today, and will continue to pray for your strength. I am available if you need me.

  • Cal and Jane Beach (Saturday, December 20 14 05:44 pm EST)

    We will hold Shirley's family in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. She was a wonderful lady and her presence will be sorely missed by many. She so wonderfully shared her gift of music with those
    around her--and that music will live on in memories of her...

  • Greg Perrien (Saturday, December 20 14 02:07 pm EST)

    Prayers to you and your family

  • Jenny Kipp (Saturday, December 20 14 01:55 pm EST)

    So very sorry uncle Gary and JoLynn for your loss, may the happy memories shared with Aunt Shirley flourish and may peace settle your hurting hearts....sending love and hugs to you!

  • Chris Carter (Saturday, December 20 14 01:12 pm EST)

    Shirley was such a wonderful, kind and caring person and one of the neatest people I've ever met. I feel very fortunate to have known her. She made the world a better place. My sincere condolences to
    Gary, JoLynn, Megan and the rest of her family. You are in my prayers.

  • julie myers (Saturday, December 20 14 12:45 pm EST)

    My prayers to the family. I have so many great memories of Shirley teaching me the piano.

    Julie Ladegast-Myers.

  • Doug and Kathy Ferguson (Saturday, December 20 14 11:20 am EST)

    So sorry to hear the news of Shirley's passing. She was a very kind and loving person and will be sadly missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Allen Rasmussen (Saturday, December 20 14 09:46 am EST)

    Gary, I want you to know that
    you and your family are in our
    thoughts and prayers.
    Your friends,
    Al & Lil Rasmussen

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