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  • James Townsend

Obituary for Joseph Lawrence Shaltry

Joseph Lawrence Shaltry, age 50, passed away in his Portland, Michigan home, surrounded by family on June 10, 2020 after a courageous battle with sarcoidosis and lymphoma. Joe was born on November 8, 1969 in St. Louis, Missouri to Thomas and Sharon (Gross) Shaltry.

Joe moved to the Williamston, Michigan area with his parents and siblings in 1979 where he went to St. Mary’s Elementary School and later graduated from Williamston High School in 1988. Joe went on to become an orderly and worked at Sparrow Hospital. This is where he met Lisa, whom he later married on November 12, 1994. They lived in Grand Ledge for several years before moving to Portland, Michigan where they raised their 3 children: Matthew, Jessica, and Marissa.

Joe graduated from Lansing Community College’s School of Nursing in 2001 and then received his bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grand Valley State University in 2002. Joe worked for Sparrow Hospital for 30 years as an orderly and a Registered Nurse in many units including the Rehab Unit, Cardiac Critical Care Unit, and most recently as an office nurse for Sparrow’s Thoracic Cardiovascular Institute.

After September 11, 2001, Joe was compelled to serve his country and joined the Air Force Reserves as a Registered Nurse. He loved being an Airman and his dedication moved him up the ranks to the level of Captain. He proudly served his country from 2002-2006.

Joe and Lisa continued in their service to others when they opened Walnut Grove Adult Foster Care in December 2005. For 14 years they provided loving care to elderly residents with whom they shared their home.

Joe also became a volunteer firefighter with the Portland Area Fire Authority in June of 2014 after completing firefighter training. The members of the Portland Fire Department have become not only friends, but an extended family, and we are truly grateful for their continued love and support.

Joe was always devoted to helping others, whether as a nurse, an airman, firefighter, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, or friend. His whole life was spent in service to others. He was always known for his honest, friendly, and gentle spirit. He had a wonderful sense of humor and outgoing personality that allowed him to carry on a conversation with anyone. He had a deep faith in God and cherished family and the times spent with them. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, riding in his Jeep, creating Camp Shaltry and the famous Kids Weekend, making breakfast for his children every Saturday morning, and hanging out around the campfire with them too.

He is preceded in death by his father, Thomas Shaltry and two sisters, Gabrielle and Taylor Shaltry. He is survived by his wife, Lisa and their three children: Matthew, Jessica, and Marissa; his mother, Sharon Shaltry; 18 brothers and sisters and too many aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, and nieces to try and list.

There is definitely a void in our lives without him, but we know and trust that he has moved on to a much better place. He will forever be missed whether we knew him as Joe, Jody, Big Joe, Dad, Bam-Bam, or even Shrek.

The Memorial Service will be held Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at the Portland Knights of Columbus Hall, 690, Maynard Road, Portland with Pastor Keith Treman officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Masks and social (physical) distancing guidelines are mandatory per the family's request. Please bring your own lawn chair as the service will be held outside under a canopy with ample room for 6 foot distancing between groups/families. There will be no luncheon held after the service, but will be scheduled at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Portland Firefighters Association in honor of Joe. Arrangements are entrusted to Lehman Funeral Homes. Online condolences may be made at

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