Obituary: Sharon Lea Altschwager, 82, of Ludington

February 1, 2024

Sharon Altschwager

Obituary: Sharon Lea Altschwager, 82, of Ludington

It is with great sadness to announce the passing of my beloved mother, Sharon Lea Altschwager, on November 14, 2023, who is now in Heaven with so many of her loved ones that have gone on before her.

Sharon was the only daughter of Marion and Carmen Stewart. She was born on July 25, 1941, in Holland, Michigan. A few years later Sharon and her parents moved to Ludington where she grew up and spent the rest of her life. She graduated from Ludington High School in June of 1959. After high school she went on to work at the Star Watchcase Factory in Ludington during the day, came home after work, and then would go work nights at the Lyric Cinema, and still go out with friends and be up the next morning to be back at work at the Star Watchcase factory. She had many fun stories and always talked about the friends and family she loved and cherished.

On May 27, 1967, she married Gail D. Altschwager, who survives, at St. John’s Lutheran Church by the Rev. F. H. Reimann in Ludington.

She then went on to work as a clerk at the State Savings Bank of Scottville, where she loved her job, until she found out that she was pregnant with her first daughter, Amy. She worked until maternity leave and then decided to stay home with Amy while Gail worked on the C&O carferries. Later her other daughter, Sarah, was born.

Sharon worked hard all her life and took great pride in the jobs she did along with the friendships and relationships she made along the way.

She spent her years before retiring, working at Perry Drug Store before it closed in Ludington, moving forward to the Ludington Rite Aid, where she had a couple of extra special coworkers whom she never forgot after her final retirement from the store.

Her faith was very important to her. There was never a day that she didn’t spend time with her Bible in her hands, reading from her devotions, saying a prayer, or believing that God was with her watching over her.

She spent the last four years of her life in Ludington Hospice care with Amy by her side every day until Sharon took her last breath and squeezed Amy’s hand to let her know that everything was going to be okay and that she passed away in peace.

She loved all sorts of activities. She was smart and interested in so many things and ideas. She loved her faith, genealogy – going back and researching family history on both sides of her parents and she did very well, she enjoyed civil war history, the outdoors and the flowers, cooking, reading, music, sports, movies, giving in a quiet way, car rides on the back country roads longing for the days of yesterday again, and shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond was always her favorite. She loved knowing and believing that one day she would be back in Heaven with her parents and grandparents, who she missed dearly, ice cream, and Chris Angelakos Greek salads. There was so much to her. She had a passion for so many things.

The final years in stage 4 ovarian cancer she never complained and was always so thankful to all the Hospice staff, everyone from Katrina, Haley, Steve, Laura, Sue, and everybody who stood beside her bedside with a loving, supportive hand, a thoughtful conversation, a laugh, a tear, a reading of a daily devotion or a hug. Sharon loved everyone she met and knew and had a loving sense of humor. So many thank yous from her were given to all these very special people while they were by her side and after they left from a visit with her.

Sharon was an amazing woman and Amy couldn’t have been prouder of her mother. It was often heard Amy saying, “I would walk through fire for my mom” and Sharon would say “I know she would”. They had a very special bond.

Sharon left this world in peace knowing that she would finally be home with her parents and her very beloved family from her grandparents, aunts, cousins, friends, and always in her heart, her beloved pets.

She will be missed here on Earth very much, but she will always be in the hearts of those who love her.

Sharon leaves behind her daughters, Amy Zuidema and Sarah Shippers; husband, Gail D. Altschwager; and grandchildren, Tyler Shippers, and Paige Klopeman.

Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, Marion C. Stewart and Carmen D. Stewart, and grandson, Casey Shippers at his birth.

A graveside service will be planned for the Spring 2024 at Bachelor Cemetery in Sheridan Township where so many beloved family members were put to rest and where her grandfather, the late Rev. Fredrick Stewart and her late beloved grandmother Bertha Stewart proudly gave many Sunday sermons at the Bachelor Baptist Church. Sharon’s ashes will be laid to rest next to her parents. The date will be announced at a future time.

Sharon was a very generous soul and found many organizations that she felt a special connection to. These include Hospice of Michigan, American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Boy’s Town, Veteran’s Administration (USO), St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and Indian Kids. If you do feel inclined to donate in Sharon’s honor, please consider the causes she loved so much.

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, www.OakGroveLudington.com.

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