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Obituary for Shirley Ann (Storz) Smith

Shirley Ann (Storz) Smith, 95, of Grand Ledge (formerly from Portland), passed away on September 1, 2021. She was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 25, 1926 to Harold and Melva (Dean) Storz.

Preceding Shirley in death were her parents, husband, Vernor Smith, son, James Smith, brother, Harold Dean Storz, sister, Nancy Storz, and an infant grandson. She is survived by her daughter, Penny (Nick) Saites of Grand Ledge; granddaughter, Sarah Saites of Chicago, IL; and grandson, Eric Saites of Lansing.

Shirley and Vernor were married June 9, 1951 and were married 43 years at the time of his death in 1994. She began school in Royal Oak, Michigan, moved to Portland in 1935, and graduated from Portland High School in 1944. She attended Central Michigan University, where she was president of her sorority, and graduated in 1948. Following college, she taught school in Muskegon Heights and Portland.

Always interested in children, Shirley worked with them in many capacities. She was camp counselor at Girl Scout camps, a volunteer with the YMCA 3rd grade water safety program, and a member and secretary of the Portland Foundation for Public Education. She was a member of the Portland Congregational Church where she also served as secretary of the Board of Trustees, member of its choirs where she directed and sang, church school teacher, financial secretary, and editor of the church “Drummer” newsletter.

As president of the Portland Alumni Association, she helped start up the recycling program in Portland, and also sponsored the Storz-Smith scholarship fund through the Portland Schools.

Shirley enjoyed knitting, was a golfer, swimmer and avid reader.

Contributions may be made in her memory to the Portland Congregational Church or the Portland Foundation for Public Education. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be made at


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