Shirley “Squirrel” Jean Bushong | News, Sports, Jobs

ELY TWP, MI—Shirley “Squirrel” Jean Bushong, age 65, of 1960 Co. Rd. CDA, Ishpeming, MI, passed away on Wednesday morning, March 21.

Squirrel was born on October 8, 1956 in Ishpeming, Michigan to Darlene L. (Rogers) and the late Robert “Leggy” E Nelson. She graduated from Ishpeming High School with a GED.

Squirrel had a variety of jobs including bartending, picking potatoes, and other seasonal jobs during her early adult years, but was then unable to work after being diagnosed with lupus in her early 30s.

There were many hobbies that squirrels enjoyed, most of which included this “outside”. She loved to hunt (deer, grouse, turkey) and fish (mostly walleye). She also spent time foraging for morels in the spring and picking berries and apples in the late summer and early fall. Squirrel and her husband, Lee, also planted a large garden each year that kept them busy canning, blanching, and freezing vegetables after harvest. Squirrel was also an avid horse lover and loved to ride. She and Lee had horses for a number of years and she liked her horse Jenny the most. Another hobby Squirrel enjoyed was going to the casino, usually with her longtime best friend, Sue Manninen.

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Shirley is survived by her mother: Darlene L. Nelson, 3 daughters: Kathy Jo Nelson, Erica Lee (Tom) West and Lori Peterson, 3 stepdaughters: Amy Paulson, Stacy (Nathan) Argall and Michelle (Michael) Nardi, grandchildren : Jace Nelson, Jamee Lee Ferris, Brooke, Sydney and Tyler West, Jordan, Brianne and Nicholas Hiltunen, Michael and Jordan Paulson, Nathan (Faith), Luke, Ashleigh and Amanda Argall, Landen, Wyatt, Reece and Brody Nardi, Great-grandchildren: Tyler Argall, Carmen Argall and Gabriel Paulson, 3 siblings: Robert “Quiet” (JoAnn) Nelson, Susan “Sue Sue” (Monte) Perry and Danny “whiskers” (Kathryn) Nelson and many nieces and nephews and their beloved beagle Terk.

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Squirrel was preceded in death by her husband: Lee M. Bushong, her father: Robert “Leggy” E. Nelson and niece: Bobbi Sue Roeder.

A “Celebration of Life” will be held for her and her husband Shirley and Lee Bushong on Sunday 2nd October 2022 from 1pm to 4pm at the Odd Fellows Lodge in downtown Ishpeming.

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Shirley’s obituary can also be viewed at where relatives and friends can leave a reminder.

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