Shirley Marilyn (Bontrager) Cassel, age 84, died peacefully at Woodland Hospice in Mt Pleasant, Michigan on July 12, 2019 surrounded by her loving family.
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Shirley was born on October 3, 1934 in Midland, Michigan, the youngest of four children born to Floyd F. and Alma G. (Shantz) Bontrager. She attended Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia where she met the love of her life, Gerald D. Cassel. Gerald and Shirley married at the Herrick Mennonite Church in Clare, Michigan, with her father, Reverend Floyd F. Bontrager officiating.
They lived in Lansdale, PA for the first year of their married life, where their son, Jerry Lee was born. The young couple then moved to Michigan, settling in Mt. Pleasant.
Shirley’s greatest joy was spending time with family. She earned her LPN, but stayed home to raise her four children. Shirley was active in the Mt. Pleasant Community and enjoyed sewing, reading, and camping with her family. Much of her time was spent sailing and flying with her husband. Shirley lived her life in service to God and was a faithful and active member of The First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant. Shirley was involved with a variety of community groups, including the Red Hats, Tourist Club, and CMCH Auxiliary.
Shirley lived her life quietly but with great intention; she was kindhearted and humble beyond measure. She always opened her home and her heart to those needing a chat over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Shirley took pride in keeping in touch with several friends over the years, and she will be missed by many.
Shirley is survived by four children Jerry (Diane) of Plano, TX, Judy (Kimber) DeWitt and Pam (Bill) Myler, both of Mt Pleasant and Carmen (Jeff) Wilkins of Hornell, NY. She is survived by grandchildren Austin Cassel and Jeremy Dill, both of Dallas, TX, Zachary (Whitney) Dill of The Colony, TX, Heather (Steve) Asiala of Glasgow, Scotland, Erin (Matt) Riley and Kevin (Abbie) DeWitt both of Mt Pleasant, MI, Jeffrey DeWitt of Los Angeles, CA, Sara (Ben) Brown of Oxford, MI, Billy Myler of Shelby Township, MI, Bennett Myler of Mt Pleasant, MI, Mitchell Myler of Midvale, UT, Maxwell Wilkins of Hornell, NY and Aubrey (Sean) Dalton of Stirling, Western Australia. Great-grandchildren Callum, Emmett and Hollyn Brown of Oxford, MI, and Kagen Riley of Mt Pleasant, MI. Also surviving are brothers Roger (Joyce) Bontrager of Attica, MI and Marvin (Karen) Bontrager of Mason, MI, sister-in-law Wilma Bontrager of Fairview, MI, and sister-in-law Janet (Fred) Gane of Telford, PA and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Gerald, in 2017. Also, her parents, brother Lyle Bontrager, brother-in-law Mahlon (Elizabeth) Cassel and sister-in-law Doris (Alton) Parmer, nephew Wallace Bontrager and niece Beverly Bontrager.
Funeral Services for Shirley will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 20, at the First Presbyterian Church of Mt. Pleasant with Rev. Andrew Miller officiating. A luncheon will follow at the church. The family will receive friends from 2-8 p.m. on Friday, July 19, at Clark Family Funeral Chapel. Visitation will continue at the church from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday, July 20. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Music Program at the First Presbyterian Church of Mt Pleasant, MI or the Mt Pleasant Area Community Foundation. Memorial envelopes will be available at both the funeral chapel and the church.