Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Mary Beth "Betsy" Shinneman

November 29, 1945 - June 10, 2022
Holland, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Holland – Mary Beth (Melville) Shinneman (“Betsy”) passed away on June 10, 2022 due to complications from illness. Betsy was 76 years old.

Betsy was born in Saginaw, Michigan to Elsa and Kenneth Melville. She was a 1963 graduate of Saginaw High School. Betsy married after high school and started a family. She met and married her ultimate partner in life, Gerald (Jerry) Shinneman, while they worked together at UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) in Detroit. They later moved to rural Midland County, Michigan where they lived on 28 acres and raised their three children. Betsy worked at Dow Chemical and later at Midland Mental Health, where she loved helping people. In 1998, Betsy and Jerry moved to Mesick, Michigan where they built their dream home near family. Betsy’s last job was with Mesick Public Schools, a job she cherished until she retired in 2010.

Betsy was very involved with the Lutheran Church, especially Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Cadillac, Michigan, spending many hours volunteering and participating in church activities.

Betsy loved being outdoors in nature and was a very active person. Growing up, she spent summers at her parents’ cottage on the north shore of Houghton Lake, and she continued going there throughout much of her adult life with her own children and extended family. She loved long walks and XC-skiing in the woods around her home in Mesick. She played on soccer leagues while raising her family, and she enjoyed golfing in later years. Betsy and Jerry enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada, and occasionally elsewhere. Betsy was also an avid reader and loved to cook.

Family was of utmost importance to Betsy. She loved hosting family gatherings, especially with her extended family at her house in Mesick. Betsy was a devoted grandparent to her many grandchildren, who she adored and loved spending time with.

Betsy will be missed tremendously by her family who loved her deeply. She is survived by her sisters, Lynne Harris of Mesick, Michigan and Carol (Don) Currie of Richland, Washington; her children Douglas (Vicki) Shinneman of Boise Idaho, Tessa (Barry) Koch of Holland Michigan, and Maureen (Randy) Powelson of Geneva Illinois; her eight grandchildren (Evan Pope, Abigayle Borland, Jack Powelson, David Borland, Grant Powelson, Nathaniel Shinneman, Carter Powelson, Gage Shinneman); two step-grandchildren (Olivia Koch and Sam Koch); one very special great-grandson (Oliver Pope); and many special nephews and nieces and their families.

Betsy was preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband, Jerry, her sister-in-law, Beverly Shinneman, and her brother-in-law, Joseph Harris.

After cremation, a memorial service will be held this summer (2022), for which the details will be forthcoming.

As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made in Mary Beth’s name to The Nature Conservancy or the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA).