Life Story / Obituary
Shirley Baldwin was a compassionate and caring wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many. She lived her life putting others first and selflessly gave of her time and resources to help others in need. Shirley treasured any time spent with her growing family especially over the holidays. Her rich legacy of sharing unconditional love for her family will be forever etched on their hearts and her warm presence will be deeply missed.
1934 saw the turning point in the Great Depression in America with unemployment decreasing. Born during the same year as one of the most severe droughts in our nation’s history, Francis Herbert and Anna Flunella (Becker) Miller were elated with joy to welcome their newborn daughter, Shirley Ann to their home on December 11th in Detroit, Michigan. Born the youngest of six children, her birth brought much happiness into their family home.
Growing up on Casper Avenue, there was never a dull moment. With five other siblings around, she often joined in on the fun, especially around the card table. By the tender age of ten years old, her Uncle Emerson gifted her a beautiful white bunny rabbit which turned into a lifetime of loving animals. Her father was a steadfast provider as a watchmaker allowing her mother to remain home as a homemaker tending to the children and keeping up the household. A close-knit family, Shirley learned the value of a hard day’s work from an early age as well as the importance of family.
By the age of thirteen, her older brother, Allen introduced her to the man who would change the course of her life forever, Allen Frances Baldwin! Shirley accompanied the two Allen’s on a trip to Detroit’s Edgewater Park and that day went down in history as their first date! Despite Allen being roughly six foot two inches tall and Shirley a petite five foot even, from that moment on the two of them were inseparable. While Allen was in the service, Shirley shifted her focus to her studies and graduated with the Class of 1953 from Western High School. Allen proudly served during the Korean War and they were romantically reunited as soon as he was discharged. Eager to spend the rest of their lives together, the happy couple joined in marriage on March 10, 1956, at Divinity Lutheran Church in Detroit. Together they raised four wonderful children; Martin, Robert, Sharon, and Jacquelyn. Shirley instilled in each of her children the idea of the “Golden Rule;” to treat others the way you wanted to be treated.
As a family, they enjoyed creating many special memories. Vacations often meant traveling to visit relatives. Shirley had an innate personality for loving all people. Warm as well as gracious, she was often the first to greet guests with a hug and another one when it came time to say their goodbyes. Over the course of their sixty-one-year marriage, she and Allen owned many special pets. Their cats; Yellowie, Buffy, Sandy, Calidonia, Smokey, and Zorro were spoiled beyond measure. Their dogs; Bonnie, Clyde, Midnite, Misty, Ginger, and their special Shalby, who was named from the SH of Shirley, the AL from Allen, and the B from their last name Baldwin were treated like royalty. She and Allen loved to fill their home with furry companions as well as their close friends and family. Many summers, she enjoyed time at the lake as well as hosting large family parties where there was always plenty to go around.
In addition to her family, Shirley enjoyed many favorite pastimes. She was indeed the card shark of the family and cherished playing both Pinochle and Euchre every Saturday with family and three times a week at local senior clubs. She also loved to play board games and compete with family members while watching her favorite game shows, Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, and the popular, Price is Right! She regularly attended her high school reunions for the past sixty-five years where she was well known for her sense of fashion. Shirley loved to match everything from her head to her toes right down to her jewelry and her painted fingernails! She took her eye for color into many weekends spent painting ceramics with her sisters.
Shirley lived her life modeling sincere compassion for all people. She enjoyed sharing conversation, laughter, and believed a little competition never hurt anyone! There is no doubt that she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. May her special family and friends be touched by knowing her grace and sharing in her journey. Each time they hear a Neil Diamond song or gather to play cards may they be warming embraced by her loving presence and reflect on the goodness she shared with them over the years.
Shirley Ann Baldwin, age 84, passed away on June 18, 2019. Loving wife of the late Allen Baldwin. She was the beloved mother of the late, Marty (Jayne) Baldwin, Bob Baldwin, Sharon (Tim) McCarthy, and Jackie (Tom) Chance. She was the dearest grandmother of Samantha Baldwin, Kristyn Chance, Drew McCarthy, Sean McCarthy, and Kelly Chance and a loving great-grandmother of Kacy Nardone. Shirley was also the adored sister-in-law of Katherine Miller and Deloris Miller and cherished sister of the late Ruth (Willard) Unkel, Delbert “Bud” Miller, Fay (Pat) O’Brien, Dolores (John) Staley, and Allen Miller. A visitation will be held June 21st, from 1:00-8:00 pm. Instate June 22nd at 10:30 am until the time of the funeral service at 11:30 am at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Road, Livonia (between Middlebelt and Merriman).