BIG BAY, MI. – Cheryl Lee Girard, age 59, of Big Bay, passed away Friday, January 17, 2014 in Big Bay. She adored Bob Seger and his song, “Turn the Page,” and would have reckoned her life to be like that of the lyrics.
Cheryl was born in Marquette on September 28, 1954, a daughter of Loy M. “Sonny” and LaVerne L. (St. John) Ellis. She was raised in Marquette, attended local Catholic grade schools and Marquette Senior High School, later enrolling in the Adult Education Program and attaining her GED.
On August 1, 1980, Cheryl married Stephen G. Girard at St. Christopher Catholic Church and together the couple made their first home at the Halfway Location. She enrolled at Northern Michigan University, pursuing a degree in bookkeeping. A few years later, Cheryl and Steve bought a home in Big Bay while Cheryl was employed at jobs as a bartender, waitress, and cook at the Big Bay Hotel, a cook with the Powell Township School, and at the same time serving two terms as Powell Township Clerk.
She loved being around the public. In 1992, Steve and Cheryl moved to Green Bay for 19 1/2 years where she was again employed as a bartender, cook, and waitress at Fuzzy Thurston’s “Shenanigans” and later with his second location “Fuzzy’s #63”. Being a devoted Green Bay Packer Fan and working for Fuzzy was something beyond her wildest imagination.
For years, she obtained game tickets, met players and their families, and relished her situation. She later suffered the first of several strokes which made walking and short term memory difficult.
In the spring of 2011, Steve and Cheryl returned to Big Bay. Through all the years, she maintained her sarcastic, sassy, stubborn, and humorous personality. Even after the stroke, she never lost her wit, always able to deliver her one-liner comebacks, some of them quite “flavorful.” Underneath the tough exterior was a generous heart of gold, a loving, caring person who enjoyed doing for others. She was fun to be with and was known in the busy seasons of hunting and snowmobiling for her antics with her customers. Cheryl loved Big Bay and, in the early 1980’s, she and Steve were instrumental in forming coed ball tournaments in Big Bay, which continue until today. Her other activities included playing horseshoes, cribbage, belonging to pool leagues, and playing darts. Always competitive, Cheryl also enjoyed the games of Scrabble, Uno, Skip-bo, and Screw Your Neighbor. She was a great gift giver, was a fan of Bob Seger, attending his concerts with Steve, loved her nieces and nephews, cats and dogs. A talented cook, she was never one for housework and often paid her sisters to take care of that responsibility. She was one of a kind!
Cheryl is survived by her husband, Stephen; siblings, Doris (Stephen) Childers and Sheila (Tim) Leahy both of Big Bay, Barbara (Louis) Wallin of Holland, MI, and Loy Michael (Michelle) Ellis of Big Bay; her godson and great-nephew, Liam Claffey of Marquette; 13 nieces and nephews; 23 great-nieces and nephews; numerous cousins.
Cheryl was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Robert Ellis; and her canine companions, Spice the German shepherd and Muttley the border collie.
A memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Big Bay in June 2014 and will be announced. Memorials may be directed to Stephen Girard, 9137 County Road 550, Marquette, MI 49855.
Cheryl’s family would like to express their love and respect for Cheryl’s devoted husband, Steve. He was magnificent in his devotion to her and his constant care without complaint. He never wavered in his devotion and will always enjoy a special place in our family. We love you Steve.
The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderfuneralhome.com