Shirley “Squirrel” Jean Bushong | News, Sports, Jobs

ELY TWP, MI – Shirley “Squirrel” Jean Bushong, 65, of 1960 Co. Rd. CDA, Ishpeming, MI, passed away peacefully at home, after a long battle with cancer, under the loving care of two of her daughters, Kathy Jo and Erica Lee, in the morning of Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Squirrel was born in Ishpeming, Michigan, on October 8, 1956, the daughter of Darlene L. (Rogers) and the late Robert “Leggy” E.Nelson. He graduated with a GED from Ishpeming High School.

Squirrel worked many different jobs during her early working years as an adult, including bartending, potato picking, and other seasonal jobs, but later became disabled due to being diagnosed with lupus in her early 30s.

There were many hobbies that Squirrel enjoyed, most of which included “outdoor”. He liked to hunt (deer, grouse, turkey) and fish (mainly walleye). He also spent time looking for morels in the spring and picking berries and apples in late summer and early fall. Squirrel and her husband, Lee, also planted a large garden every year, which kept them busy canning, blanching, and freezing vegetables after harvest. Squirrel was also an avid horse lover and she loved to ride horses. She and Lee had horses for a few years and she was very fond of her horse, Jenny. Another pastime that Squirrel liked was going to the casino, usually with her longtime best friend, Sue Manninen.

Shirley is survived by her mother: Darlene L. Nelson, 3 daughters: Kathy Jo Nelson, Erica Lee (Tom) West, and Lori Peterson, 3 stepdaughters: Amy Paulson, Stacy (Nathan) Argall, and Michelle (Michael) Nardi, grandchildren: Jace Nelson, Jamee Lee Ferris, Brooke, Sydney and Tyler West, Jordan, Brianne and Nicholas Hiltunen, Michael and Jordan Paulson, Nathan (Faith), Luke, Ashleigh and Amanda Argall, Landen, Wyatt, Reece and Brody Nardi, great-grandchildren: Tyler Argall , Carmen Argall and Gabriel Paulson, 3 Siblings: Robert “rup” (JoAnn) Nelson, Susan “Sue Sue” (Mount) Perry and Danny “Whiskers” (Kathryn) Nelson and many nieces and nephews, as well as her beloved Beagle, Terk.

Squirrel was preceded in death by her husband: Lee M. Bushong, her father: Robert “Leggy” E. Nelson and niece: Bobbi Sue Roeder.

A “Celebration of Life” will be held for both her and her husband, Shirley and Lee Bushong, on Sunday, October 2, 2022, from 1 pm to 4 pm at The Odd Fellows Lodge in downtown Ishpeming.

Shirley’s obituary can also be viewed at, where family and friends can leave a note of remembrance.