Martha Louise Wright Shirtum, (Mrs. Earl Edward), age 87, of Lansing, MI, died on Saturday, March 14, 2015. She was born January 14, 1928, at her parent’s home, 38087 Red Arrow Highway West, Paw Paw, Michigan, the only child of the late Robin Joseph Wright and Martha Bertha Louisa Day Wright.
She attended Barnum School for six years, graduated from Paw Paw High School in 1945, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and an Elementary School Teacher’s Certificate from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, in 1949 and did post graduate work at Ashridge College near London, England, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan, and Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. She taught school in Lansing for four years and then married Earl Edward Shirtum of Montague, Michigan on June 19, 1953, in Mary Sabina Chapel, Central United Methodist Church, Lansing, Michigan. Mrs. Shirtum did substitute teaching in the Lansing school system for fifteen years, and in 1976 became a free-lance photographer. She exhibited her work widely in the Lansing area and in other Michigan cities. She gave slide programs for church and other groups and won awards for volunteer work at the Lansing Art Gallery and the Ingham County Medical Care Facility in Okemos, Michigan.
Mrs. Shirtum was a member of Central United Methodist Church, Lansing, and a member of the Susanna Wesley Circle of that church, a Charter Member of the Arts Council Center of Greater Lansing, the Clinton County Arts Council Gallery, a sustaining member of the Ingham Medical Center Auxiliary, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing Camera Club, Southwestern Michigan Council of Camera Clubs, Photographic Society of America, Lansing Matinee Musicale, Vivian Society of the Elks Club, and Past President of Zeta Chapter, Alpha Beta Epsilon, Alumnae group of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Martha was also a life member of the Western Michigan University Alumni Association, life member of the VanBuren County Historical Museum, life member of the Iroquois County Historical Society (Watseka, Illinois) and Friends of the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing, Michigan.
Surviving are her loving husband, Earl along with many loving nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, cousins and friends.
The funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, at Central United Methodist Church, 215 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing, Michigan. Interment will take place in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Paw Paw, Michigan. The family will receive friends at Central United Methodist Church on Wednesday, March 18th from 10:00 a.m. until service time. Memorial contributions may be made to Paw Paw United Methodist Church or Central United Methodist Church in Lansing.