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It brings me great pain and sorrow to let you know that Wilma Pauline Sherwood passed away on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. After her most recent battle with cancer, she has finally won and is in the presence of her Lord. She passed with her daughter, Tina, son, John, and daughter-in-law, Tracey at her side. She will be greatly missed by all that knew her and her spunky demeanor.

There will be a celebration of life at Watermark Church, 13060 US-31, Grand Haven MI, 49417 this Saturday, August 20, 2022, with a time to meet and talk with family beginning at 10am. The service will follow at 11am. Refreshments and lunch will be available following the gathering.

Donations can be made in her name in lieu of flowers to Love In Action – Grand Haven.

Wilma is survived by her daughter, Tina (Michael); son, John (Tracey); stepson, Jimmy (Christina); and grandchildren, Kelsi, David, Dominic, Moses, Luciano, and Kyle.

Sacrifice came second nature to Wilma. Her dad, Joseph, unexpectedly died within days of John being born. She stated this fact in her matter-of-fact tone while also referring to Joseph as Daddy. Wilma’s mother, Bertha ran the family of 9 kids. By the time Wilma and her twin brother, Bill came along, the raising of Wilma fell to her older sisters. Her dad worked when work was available. Northern Michigan was even more desolate in the 1940’s and 50’s than it is now. They learned how to hunt, fish, and gather. She has described gathering wild onions, skunk cabbage, marsh marigold, every wild berry imaginable, and morel mushrooms. There had to have been wood gathering, as the home had no electricity or running water. Wilma reported that her sisters left as soon as they were old enough.

After John had left for the Army and Tina had moved to Detroit, Wilma decided to move to South Bend. Her friend, Betty knew of a good paying job in a door factory. This move was significant for several reasons. Wilma had worked as an assistant manager at the Candy Corner in Mackinaw City for so many years. Like most retail jobs in northern Michigan, it was seasonal. She scraped by the rest of the year working whatever job she could find. Some of her jobs included McDonald’s, the deli at the front of Kmart, and an aid at the nursing home in Cheboygan.

Wilma’s move to South Bend was so, so good for her. She met Jack and quickly fell in love. Jack could be difficult for those of us who knew him as he was so quick to argue a point. Any point. If you took one side, he took the other. He got such joy out of arguing! Wilma would roll her eyes at him, and he would laugh, then she would laugh. Those two made each other so happy. Jack was a widower and had one son, Jimmy. We all became a blended family when we were in our twenties.

Jack adored Wilma. He took care of her. They took on home remodeling projects together. Wilma drove reliable cars. They discovered Chrysler made a car with adjustable pedals and Jack bought Wilma a convertible because she had always wanted one. Wilma had a companion that made her laugh and taught her that some things in life can’t be taken seriously. He lightened her.

At this time, Wilma got a job in the florist department at Martin’s grocery store. She loved it. She had a twinkle in her eye when she talked about work. She talked about flowers, greens, arranging. She was delighted by her job.

When Jack died in 2007, Wilma decided again to make the move north and live near family. Jack made her promise she would quit smoking. When we came down to be with her in the days surrounding the funeral, she was stressed and smoking frantically in one hand, with a sprayer of Febreze in the other hand. She would puff on her cigarette, blow smoke up in the air, and spray us in the face with Febreze, saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m going to quit, I know it stinks.” We would assure her it was all ok.

So, Wilma moved into a small bungalow in Grand Haven, near Ferry Elementary School. She worked at D&W as a cashier and quickly made friends with the regulars. When asked if she wanted to apply at one of the floral shops in Grand Haven, Wilma, always a realist, thought her current job was just fine, “why get fussy about a job?”

Wilma requested her favorites playlist from YouTube be played when she was in pain near the end of her life. We joked it was the most depressing playlist ever made. But a theme quickly emerged. Her love of Jesus, the promise of a better life ahead, how much she missed Jack, and wishing for, ‘one more day with you’, as Diamond Rio sang to us as she passed.

She was such a force in a tiny body. She modeled so much of how to live with grace without us even realizing it. She had such a hard and beautiful life. She was not bitter. She forgave people. She was opinionated! She was not afraid to learn and grow. She hated the shows we watched. She loved the game show network, food network, the local news (Wood TV 8 only), and HGTV. She knew all the hosts by name. She did not drink but loved a Summer Shandy on hot summer days. She only recently began liking chocolate. She loved butter pecan ice cream and any lemon dessert. She was a voracious reader. She loved wordle and was very proud when she guessed the word quickly.

Wilma was well-loved by so many people that knew her. From northern Michigan where she grew up and raised her kids, to northern Indiana where she met Jack, and lastly in West Michigan. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. We’ll end with some of her final words. Knowing she was on her way to spend eternity with Jesus, she calmly said, “I know where I’m going…see ya on the other side!”


To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Wilma’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.


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5 Condolences

  1. Karen (Barr) Percy on August 18, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    Such a wonderful person and aunt. You will be greatly missed Aunt Wilma.1πŸ˜‡πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜‡πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜‡πŸ™πŸ»

  2. Lois Moore on August 18, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    It was a privilege to know her and call her friend. She will be missed by anyone that knew her.

  3. Sue Peasley on August 19, 2022 at 11:57 am

    She was a very spunky, but also sweet friend❣️

  4. Angela L. (Huffman) Boler on August 21, 2022 at 4:41 am

    I was Ms. Wilma’s boss in her floral days. Hard worker and very good at her job. We had usually a great time, even prom season. Jack and her together was surely a fabulous pair. I loved them dearly and so sad to here she passed.

  5. Lynda Dreese on August 21, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    We have really enjoyed getting to know and love Wilma in our women’s small group at Watermark Church. Her faith was deep and obvious. She reaffirmed to us that our faith is not built by obtaining lots of things but by trusting God for all we need. We all will miss her dearly.
    Lynda, Shelly, Linda, Bev & June.

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