Shirley Joann Herman
May 28, 1938 – September 11, 2020
Shirley Joann Herman, of Washington, Michigan and most recently of Rochester, Michigan, passed away peacefully the morning of September 11, 2020. She was 82. She was born in Roseville, Michigan to Stephen (dec.) and Mary (dec.) Danton. A dedicated student, Shirley graduated from Roseville High School with honors and began a career at Holley Carburetor in Warren, Michigan at the age of 18 as a secretary. It was there that she met Ronald E. Herman, whom she married in 1963. They began a wonderful marriage that lasted 42 years until Ron died in 2005. Ron was a widower so Shirley became mother immediately to Vicki and Rick when they married. Soon thereafter, the family grew with the additions of Terri and Dave. The family moved from Warren to Washington Township in 1974 where Shirley and Ron lived together happily.
Shirley was a thoughtful and generous person. She was a wonderful friend, known for her incredible memory that never missed a birthday or special occasion. She was loved for her cards and notes, sent with her lovely calligraphy, always a heartfelt message and specially selected stickers on a matching envelope. Her cards and notes were much anticipated and always a delight! She loved talking with people, was a great listener, and stayed in touch with friends near and far. She was a dedicated artist and calligrapher, and a member of the Michigan Association of Calligraphers for over three decades, many of those years as the Hospitality Chair. Shirley and Ron loved to entertain, with legendary Christmas parties featuring Shirley's cooking prowess for over 30 years. Her hostess skills continued even after Ron's passing as she continued to organize the annual Holley Reunion Picnic.
Most important to her always was her family. She loved her husband, her kids, being a grandmother and great-grandmother as well as home and family activities. She became a skilled camper (setting aside that first camping trip when Ron held a camping lantern for her to polish her nails), incredible cook (she always said that if you can read a cookbook, you can learn to cook and we lined up for her beef barley soup, pies and Christmas cookies), and an accomplished homemaker. From painting to sewing to hanging wallpaper (an activity she felt married couples should avoid doing together) to gardening (red geraniums, marigolds, tomatoes and zucchini were giants), she made the family's house a true home. She was Ron's "right-hand girl" for every home improvement project. She was the rock of support, with never ending love and care for Ron during his journey with MS. She served the community in many ways -- Sunday school teacher, election worker, PTA member, political activist and MS Society volunteer.
She was an avid reader, loved history and politics and events and considered herself a "news junkie". She believed in the power of people to change their circumstances, our country and the world. One of her favorite lines to kids especially was that "you can do anything." She saw no boundary that couldn't be crossed or obstacles that couldn't be overcome for anyone. She felt that you could not only survive but thrive, even out of the worst circumstances.. She believed in education as the greatest vehicle to lift us all. Although she didn't complete her college degree, she loved learning and took many college courses and specialized education during her life.
Shirley touched all those that she encountered and her warmth stayed with them. Her love, spirit and guidance will be missed.
Shirley is survived by children Vicki (Scott) Drayer, Rick (Kim-Holly), Terri (Pete) Brady, and Dave (Alicia); grandchildren Jenny (Craig) Engel, Traci (Matt) Phillips, Brett (Sarah) Drayer, Nate (Hillary), Rachel, Thorsten, Rosalyn, Bronwyn, Maddie and Harper Brady; great-grandchildren Joel, Megan and Emma Engel, Gabe and Cera Drayer, Noah, Caleb, Abigail, Amos and Maya Phillips and Sawyer Herman. She was predeceased by her beloved husband Ron and grandson Brian.
A remembrance gathering will be held in the Spring/Summer of 2021. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Shirley's life may donate to the Alzheimer's Association - Michigan Chapter or to the Michigan Association of Calligraphers.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Shirley Joann Herman
September 26, 2020
First of all, thank you for writing such a beautiful notice about Shirley and her life before I knew her. She was always a sparkle of light whenever you had a chance to talk with her. She was especially kind to me after a divorce from my first husband of 32 yrs. Then we became just a bit closer when we both were dating again and sharing stories. She went all in with everyone who would allow her to and she was as you described a "can do it" person. I know her illness had to have been so very frustrating for her because she was never comfortable relying on someone else when she thought she COULD do it, but her body wouldn't cooperate. I saw little that got her down. I pray for your families as I am sure she is sorely missed and will be each time you gather. May God's peace and love surround you as you adjust to living without her.
September 24, 2020
I don’t think Shirley ever met a stranger! She was such a loving, giving friend who always had a kind word to say.
Shirley made the world a better place for having been in it, and me a better person for having known her.
It was obvious how much she loved her family & Terry, I know you must be heartbroken. I loved your mom!
Sending the entire family much love during this time of great sadness and loss.
September 24, 2020
Shirley was always very kind and friendly when she saw me and was a very caring lady and mother, she will be missed. Peter loren