Hershel E. Dunshee, a devoted husband and father and World War II veteran, died Friday after a battle with mesothelioma. He was 88.
Hershel, son of Leota (Hopper) and Eugene Dunshee, grew up in Petoskey with his brothers Clyde and Richard, and big sisters Hazel (Croft) and Bernice (Lubbers). In 1944, Hershel enlisted in the Navy and proudly served his country as a machinist aboard the USS Thuban during World War II. He was part of tours through the Philippines and Iwo Jima, Japan, in support of the Asia-Pacific campaign.
After the war, Hershel worked as a school bus driver and met his future wife, Arlene. They were married on Aug. 8, 1953, and celebrated 59 loving years together in 2012. A respected community member, Hershel worked at Culligan, Michigan Maple Block, and as a chicken farmer before becoming an accomplished candy maker at Kilwin's. He trained under Don Kilwin and served as a baker and candy cook for Michigan's premier candy company for nearly 15 years. His many accomplishments include the training and mentorship of current Kilwin's head candy cook Bill Hoffman. Hershel retired in 1989.
Hershel was a lifelong learner who enjoyed reading the Petoskey News-Review. He also liked hunting and woodworking and was skilled at archery — even winning a state championship in the sport. Hershel especially enjoyed his lovely Joy Valley farm, and as an avid gardener often experimented with his apple and cherry trees, grapes and giant pumpkins.
Hershel leaves his loving wife, Arlene, of Petoskey; his daughter, Cheryl and her husband, Jerry Wareck of Lancaster, Mass.; daughter, Debi, and her husband, John Murray of Charlevoix; son, Clint, and his wife, Kristi Dunshee of Florida; grandson, Tony Wareck; and three granddaughters, Laura Wareck, Jayme (Murray) Collier and Stevie Lynn Murray; and Mary (Schwartzfisher) Dunshee, mother of grandsons Eric and Ryan Dunshee.
A celebration of Hershel's life will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at Stone Funeral Home in Petoskey. Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in Hershel's memory may be made to Karmanos Center for mesothelioma research in Detroit or the charity of the individual's choice.
Hershel E. Dunshee, 88
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