The Words of the Vlasic Family

Shirley Bowers Vlasic (UTS '81) passes

UTS Alumni Association
February 7, 2011

UTS Alumni has just received the news that Shirley Bowers Vlasic passed on recently.

This obituary appeared in the Washington Post on February 2, 2011

Shirley Elsie Bowers Vlasic passed away on Sunday, January 23, 2011 at her home. She was 61 years old and our dear friend.

She was born December 28, 1949 in Hillsdale, Michigan to Donald J. Bowers and Teresa May Kope. She was the only living child of her parents. Shirley's mother passed away in May of 1960 when she was ten years old, and thereafter she was left in the care of her Uncle Merle and Aunt Doris Bowers in Osseo, Michigan. In 1982 Shirley was married briefly to Micheal Peter Vlasic in Manhattan, NY. They did not have any children.

Shirley is preceded in death by her parents, aunt and uncle. She is survived by her step-cousin Bob Miller, an aunt, Dorothy Stubli, an aunt, Grace McKinney, and many friends. Shirley was a good student and had many friends. She attended Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. She received a Graduate Diploma in Religious Education from the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, NY.

She lived in Michigan, Boston, Rhode Island, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, New York and Virginia and visited every state in the continental United States. Shirley was a hard worker and held many jobs throughout her life. For 17 years she was a photo researcher for The World and I magazine, as well as a very successful Fundraiser and Lobbyist for the Conservative Caucus in Vienna, VA.

Shirley enjoyed giving gifts, cooking, gardening, reading, History, a good movie, playing games and traveling. She loved spending time with her friends and their families. Shirley became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1999, and was thereafter adopted into the lives and families of many more dear friends.

Shirley was a very thoughtful and generous woman. She loved little children and all of her friends. Her memory will be cherished. A memorial service will be held 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 3, 2011 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2719 Hunter Mill Rd., Oakton, VA. She will be buried in the Lenawee Hills Memorial Park in Adrian, Michigan. Arrangements by Pierce Funeral Home, Manassas, VA.

A letter from the local Unification Church says:

"She passed as a result of a tragic accident in which she fell in her bathroom and broke her neck. She had been separated from our Unification Church community for over ten years and had subsequently joined a Church of Latter Day Saints Congregation where she resided in Vienna, Virginia. It was one of the ladies from the LDS church who found her, Sunday morning, when she stopped by to pick her up for church.

Shirley had no living relatives left, so a friend from the LDS church, who owns a funeral home, raised money from the congregation to have a memorial service for Shirley and to have her buried with other members of her family in Michigan. He is planning to drive the body there this coming Monday, if the weather is good for such a trip.

Hiroshi and I visited the Funeral Director, Mr. Meyer, and gave him a bouquet of roses and lilies, explaining the significance of them to him as taught by Father Moon. He was very happy to receive them and said they would accompany the body. We asked about giving a donation to him to help defer the expenses, but he thanked us and said he had raised enough money already from the congregation for all burial and transportation expenses. He said, he couldn't, ethically, accept any more. We were very moved by the heart of this man in taking responsibility for our sister. We heard about it too late to attend the memorial service, so, unfortunately, none of our Unification Church church members could help with this."

Hiroshi and Kathleen Goto,
NOVA Family Church, Fairfax, Virginia

"She and I were in the same team at UTS, studying together in the laundry room while folding bed sheets as part of our labor contribution. I have not seen her for many years, but she came to my home during Thanksgiving Holiday when my kids were still small. Shirley and I prepared big meals. Our family also visited her apartment for a long time. I think Jim Fleming's family was there, too. She is a giving sister of warm heart. I really hope she is in a good place in the spirit world."

Yoko De Groot (UTS '81) 

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