Shirley June Turk (1935-2000)

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Shirley June Turk Beer
Born: 29 Sep 1935 Petoskey, Michigan
Died: 15 Feb 2000 Petoskey, Michigan
Father: Ernest Cecil Turk
Mother: June Garnett Swan
Siblings: Ernest Kenneth Turk
Shirley June Turk
Gloria Turk
Betty Turk
Spouse: Martin Beer
Married: 21 Jul 1956 of Petoskey, Michigan
Children: Kathy Beer
Barb Beer
Ken Beer


Petoskey News-Review, February 2000

Shirley June (Turk) Beer, 64

On Feb. 15, 2000, Shirley June (Turk) Beer, 64, of Petoskey, joined God in Heaven after humbly battling Multiple Sclerosis for 38 years. Surrounded by her loving husband and three children at her bedside, Shirley passed away at Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey. The way she lived with her illness was an inspiration to all who loved her. Her love of God helped guide her along the way.

Although Shirley’s MS debilitated her physically, it did not weaken her spirit or will to live. She was so much looking forward to seeing yet another spring on Earth, but will instead be spending this next one, and those that follow, with the angels, looking down upon us.

Shirley truly enjoyed the simple things in life. She took joy in short summer drives with her husband, Martin, especially those reliving memories of the stone farmhouse in Alden, where as a child she visited her aunt and uncle, who had once lived there. Going to polka festivals and listening to polka music always raised her spirits, especially the time Stas Bulanda sang her a Happy Birthday polka during a performance in Clare. Shirley also looked forward to trips to Mackinaw City to get caramel corn, dining at Big Boy, eating take-out dinners at the Petoskey waterfront, or ice cream from Muggzies. She also enjoyed chatting with family and friends, especially her Monday visits from Carol to receive Holy Communion and Friday visits with close friend Marlene.

Some of Shirley’s favorite pastimes, before MS weakened her hands, included embroidery, knitting, crocheting, crafting, cooking and baking for family and friends, as well as spending quality time playing games with her children. She deeply enjoyed her roles as housewife and mother. In recent years, her hobbies included clipping coupons and refunding.

Shirley always took pleasure in doing for others whenever possible, like baking goods for church functions and hand-knitting mittens for children at the Holy Childhood School in Harbor Springs at Christmastime. She also generously donated to many charitable organizations, and even in the last days of her life was still thinking of ways to help those around her.

Shirley was born on Sept. 29, 1935, in Petoskey, where she lived her entire life. As a young woman, she enjoyed working at Michigan Maple Block, where some of her co-workers become lifelong friends. She often reminisced about fun times with those good friends and dancing at Jo Jo’s and the Grange Halls. It was during one of these times that she met the love of her life, Martin. Their married life began 43 years ago, on July 21, 1956, and their years together were surely a model which married couples today could only hope to emulate. She deeply loved her Martin, who took wonderful care of her and shared so many special times with her.

Shirley will be greatly and sadly missed by her devoted husband, Martin; her three children, Kathy (Beer) Solomon and husband, Gordie, of Traverse City, Barb (Beer) Bales and husband, Keith, of Charlevoix, and Ken Beer and wife, Sara, of Lansing; her four grandchildren, Carrie and Emily Solomon and Kaeli and Kelsi Bales; her three siblings, brother Kenneth Turk and wife, Donna, of Petoskey, and sisters, Gloria Duck and husband, Tom, of Louisiana, and Betty Welch of Oregon; as well as many other relatives and friends.

Shirley was preceded in death by her father, Ernest Turk, in 1991, and mother, June Turk, in 1936.

To honor our beloved Shirley, visitation will be held Friday, Feb. 18, 2000, from 6-8 p.m., with the rosary service at 7 p.m., at Stone Funeral Home in Petoskey, where Mass cards will be available. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or to the Saint Francis Preservation Guild Trust Fund. Envelopes will be available.

A funeral Mass celebrating Shirley’s new life in Heaven free of MS will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church in Petoskey, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2000, at 10:30 a.m., with Father John Tupper officiating. A luncheon at the K of C Hall will follow.


  • Marriage: Emmet County, Michigan, Vital Records Search, Marriages:
Beer, Martin J., Jr. & Turk, Shirley J.
Date of Marriage: 7/21/1956
Liber: 1956
Folio: 71
  • Death: Emmet County, Michigan, Vital Records Search, Deaths:
Beer, Shirley J.
Date of Death: 2/15/2000
Liber: 2000
Folio: 61
Place of Death: Petoskey, MI
Beer, Shirley June (Turk)
Age: 64
Born: 9/29/1935
Died: 2/15/2000
Burial: 2/22/2000
Cemetery: Greenwood, Petoskey
Obituary: on file
Section: M
Block: 170
Lot: 14 SW1/4