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Shirley J. Esterley, age 88, of Greenville, passed away Monday morning, December 29, 2014 at her home under the loving care of her family and Hospice. The daughter of William & Johanna (Bowman) VanDyke, she was born on September 21, 1926 in Grand Rapids.

On April 9, 1946, she married Lester B. Esterley and together they raised eight children and enjoyed 48 years of marriage until Lester passed away on November 21, 1994.

Shirley had been a Foster Grandparent and also volunteered with the Area Six Special Olympics (Ionia-Montcalm), as well as enjoying bowling, bingo, playing cards and board games, and crocheting.

Survving are her children, JoLynn Nolf & Cecil Coral of Sheridan, Joycelyn & Jim Sharp of Greenville, Janalyn Spicer of Howard City, Alan Esterley of Jenison, Jeralyn & Rex Steele of Freemont, Kevan & Cal Esterley of Howard City, Dave Esterley of Greenville, and Jaclynn & Duane Croad of Gowen; twenty-eight grandchildren; thirty-six great grandchildren; and twenty-one great-great grandchildren; as well as many other relatives and friends.

Memorial services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at Jesus Non-Denominational Church, 9206 Peck Road, Greenville, with a luncheon following. The Rev. Tommy D. Turner, Jr. will officiate and burial will take place in the spring at Spencer Mills Cemetery.

Instead of flowers, Shirley would have appreciated contributions in her memory to either Area Six Special Olympics or Spectrum Health Hospice. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Shirley’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:


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1 Condolence

  1. Anonymous on December 29, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Tim Dugan

    It was my great pleasure to work with Grandma Shirley for a number of years at the Seiter Building. She loved the students, and they reciprocated. It was a daily routine for many of them to line up and give her hugs when she would leave to go home. God Bless, Shirley. R.I.P.


    Robin Bennett / Alberts

    Thinking of all of you ! May she rest in peace.


    Connie Newman-Anderson

    I am so sorry to learn of your mothers passing. I have fond memories of our time at Lincoln Lake and your family.


    The Vanderploeg Family

    Our greatest Sympathy.


    Gayle Vaartjes

    Jeri, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. At the class reuinon you spoke highly of your mother and you loved her very much. We are both so blessed to of had such loving mothers in our life. Keep that in your heart Jeri, and know although she has left this earth, she is still right here with you in spirit. Love and hugs to you and your family my good friend.


    Lauri Zimmerman

    So sorry to hear of Grandma Shirley’s passing. Joyce I loved working with her in our room at Forest Grove. She referred to me as ” her partner in crime”. She touched so many lives and will be missed by many.


    Cheray LaRoue

    Jeri and Rex,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at your time of sorrow. I hope you find peace in knowing that she is in God’s hands wrapped in His love.
    Sincere sympathy,
    Dave and Cheray & family


    Ann Ross

    “Grandma” Shirley helped many students through the years as a Foster Grandparent and Special Olympics volunteer. She will be missed. Sorry for your loss Joyce and Jim.


    Larry & Carole Barber

    I remember when I was little our back yard & Uncle Les & Aunt Shirly’s back yard met coner to corner. I also remember spending time at the cottage on Lincoln lake. The sisters are now all gone. Deepest sympathys to the whole family.


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