Jean M. Burmeister


Jean M. Burmeister, 98, of Whitehall and formerly of Shelby, passed away Tuesday, May 28, 2019 in Whitehall. She was born Jan. 19, 1921 in Detroit, the daughter of Ralph B. Ford Sr. and Alison (Wheeler) Ford.

Jean was raised in Detroit and graduated from Denby High School. Her parents purchased a farm in Benona Township where Jean met her future husband, Velo Burmeister. They were married Sept. 13, 1942 in San Antonio, Texas where Velo was stationed in the Army Air Corps. After the war, they lived on the family farm in Benona where they raised their sons and worked the land growing fruit, asparagus and Christmas trees. Beyond her involvement in the farm, Jean enjoyed taking care of her yard and flower gardens.

She was a long-time member of Shelby United Methodist Church. She was active in the United Women’s Fellowship and enjoyed maintaining the outdoor church planters. She resided at White Lake Assisted Living Center for the past five years.

She is survived by her son, Keith (Cheryl) Burmeister and their children, Kendra (Justin) Grantz, Melinda (David) Girard and Kyle (Audrey) Burmeister; her son, Gary (Nancy) Burmeister and their children, Jane VanderZwaag and Elizabeth (Donald) Nowka; and great-grandchildren, Kentin, Carson and Corinne Grantz, Kole Burmeister and Brynn VanderZwaag. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Velo, Oct. 23, 2016 and her brother, Ralph Ford, Jr.

Visitation is Monday, June 17, 1 p.m. with the funeral service to follow at 2 p.m. at Harris Funeral Home in Shelby with Pastor Paulette Zoulek officiating. Light refreshments will follow the service. Please consider Shelby United Methodist Church, 68 E. Third St., Shelby, MI 49455 as a memorial. You may leave a message for the family at