University of Michigan
News for Faculty and Staff

December 16, 2017

Obituary: Lewis William ‘Bill’ Shurtliff

January 22, 2016

Obituary: Lewis William ‘Bill’ Shurtliff

Topic: Obituaries

Lewis William “Bill” Shurtliff, who worked as a parking supervisor at the University of Michigan and head of duplicating services at the Hatcher Graduate Library until he retired in 1999, died Jan. 2, 2016.

Lewis William 'Bill' Shurtliff

Shurtliff was the beloved husband of Evelyn, who preceded him in death. His passing is mourned by his children Dana (Greg) Gloden, Jody Shurtliff, and Bill (Janet) Shurtliff and grandchildren (Melody, Zoe, William Vida, Keenan, Josiah, Gabriel, and Brett), 15 great-grandchildren, and his twin brother Franklin Edmund (Helen) Shurtliff. He was preceded in death by his brothers Lee and Glenn Christensen and his sister Arlie (Christensen) Slater.

The family will take Shurtliff’s remains to be buried next to his wife in her family cemetery in the hills of Virginia.

Shurtliff was born to Franklin Erastus and Lenore (Brown) Shurtliff in Boise, Idaho, on March 26, 1925, and soon moved to Birmingham, Alabama. Before the age of 5, the family located to Ann Arbor.

During his early teens, his father, a civil engineer, moved the family to Rio, Brazil, where he learned how to body surf and speak Portuguese. After serving in the navy during WWII, Bill met and married Evelyn (Byrd) in 1946. Their marriage was one of great love and commitment, with Shurtliff lovingly caring for Evelyn through the difficulties of Alzheimer’s in her final years.

Those whose lives Shurtliff (aka “Beautiful Bill”) touched recall his magnetic personality, generosity, wit, intelligence and sense of humor. Family, friends, employees, colleagues, and caregivers were drawn to him with admiration and enjoyment.

Shurtliff was a lover of words, dictionaries, crosswords, writing, games, music, movies, singing and spontaneous road trips. His children remember a man who seemed capable of leading any group, not just in goals but in fun and entertainment. He was the “game-meister,” the person who delighted the crowd bringing fun and laughter.

Those who cared for him in his final years at Saline Evangelical Home agreed that he was a “charmer” who made people happy with his singing and friendly handshakes.

He was a longtime employee of Booth Newspapers, working with their publications in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ypsilanti and finally at the Jackson Citizen Patriot where he became the youngest manager ever promoted. He subsequently worked in the San Francisco area before returning to his hometown of Ann Arbor. There, he worked as a parking supervisor then as the head of duplicating services at the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan, from which he retired in 1999. He also was called out of retirement to supervise the movement of library materials during an extended remodeling project.

He was active in Kiwanis and AA, where he was a dedicated sponsor. He touched many lives — his legacy is embedded in the hearts of those who loved him. He will be dearly missed.

A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. Jan. 30 at Northside Community Church, 929 Barton Drive, Ann Arbor. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

— Submitted by Dana Gloden