Shirley “Squirrel” Jean Bushong

ELY TWP, MI – Shirley “Squirrel” Jean Bushong, age 65, of 1960 Co. Rd. CDA, Ishpeming, MI, passed away peacefully at her home, after a long battle with cancer, in the loving care of two of her daughters, Kathy Jo and Erica Lee, on the morning of Wednesday, September 21st, 2022.

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

Squirrel had many different jobs during her earlier adult working years, which include bartending, potato harvesting, and other seasonal jobs, but then became disabled due to being diagnosed with Lupus in her early 30s.

There were lots of hobbies Squirrel enjoyed doing, most of which included the “outdoors”. She enjoyed hunting (deer, grouse, turkeys) and fishing (mostly walleye). She also spent time foraging for morels in spring and picking berries and apples in late summer and early fall. Squirrel and her husband, Lee, also planted a big garden every year, which kept them busy canning, blanching, and freezing vegetables after harvest. Squirrel was also an avid horse-lover and loved to go horseback riding. She and Lee had horses for a few years and she was most fond of her horse, Jenny. Another hobby that Squirrel enjoyed doing was going to the Casino, usually with her long-time best friend, Sue Manninen.

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 “Rup” (JoAnn) Nelson, Susan “Sue Sue” (Monte) Perry, and Danny “Whiskers” (Kathryn) Nelson and many nieces and nephews, and also her beloved Beagle, Terk.

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 both her and her husband, Shirley and Lee Bushong, on Sunday, October 2nd, 2022, from 1-4PM at The Odd Fellows Lodge, downtown Ishpeming.

Shirley’s obituary may also be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie.com, where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.