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Sharon L. Gillis of Midland and formerly of Petoskey, passed from this life on Sunday, May 5, 2019, surrounded by the family she loved.


She was born Sharon Lee Sponseller on March 1, 1942 in Mt. Pleasant, the daughter of Vern and Gladys (Berryhill) Sponseller. She grew up in Mt. Pleasant and was a graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School. She went on to earn her degree in Radiography from CMU, and began her career with Central Michigan Community Hospital in Mt. Pleasant. She married Melvin A. Gillis on June 15, 1963; together they raised three children and lived in Mt. Pleasant, Midland and Petoskey. In 1991 Sharon and Mel moved back to Midland where they have resided until present. Sharon also worked for Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey and MidMichigan Urgent Care in Midland. She retired in March of 2015.


Throughout her life she relied on her faith in God to be the source of her strength.  She endeared herself to so many and could always be counted on to lend support to anyone in need. She was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and a friend to so many. Her genuine warmth, courage through adversity and open heart is what will be missed by all who knew her. The hole that is left by her passing will only be filled by passing on that same love that she gave so freely.


Sharon is survived by her husband of nearly 56 years, Mel Gillis and by their children, Rick (Joy) Gillis of Petoskey, Chery (David) Walter of Grand Blanc, Lynnsey (Dan) Bechtel of Midland, by her grandchildren, Nickie (Adam) Machelski, Kaity Gillis, Jacob Walter, Kailey Walter, Nathan Bechtel, Grace Bechtel and Maggie Bechtel, great granddaughter, Audrey Machelski, sisters, Betty Lou (Ralph Brown) Sponseller and Deborah Alexander, sister-in-law, Eileen (Bob) Strauss and by several beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her granddaughter, Emma Bechtel and sister-in-law Elaine Gillis.


Sharon’s life will be celebrated during a Funeral Mass that is planned for 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 10, 2019 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, the Mass will be led by Fr. Jack Johnson. Friends may visit with the family at Smith-Miner Funeral Home on Thursday, May 9th from 6-8 p.m., with a vigil service commencing at 7:30 p.m., and at the church on Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Sharon will be laid to rest at Greenwood Cemetery in Petoskey.


Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Alzheimer’s Association or Midland County Senior Services “Seasons”.


On line condolences may be left a smithminer.com.


Condolence Messages

  1. Catherine Pankow

    08 May 2019 3 years ago

    I loved seeing Sharon in church! She was always so kind, complimentary, and positive. My heart is with your family.

  2. Pamela Gillis Winkler

    08 May 2019 3 years ago

    Sharon was such a beautiful person inside and out I always looked up to her. Proud to call my cousin! Always so kind and caring. Big shoes to follow but what a beautiful family she created that can do it. my prayers are with you all. I loved her laugh she reminded me so much of Aunt Peg! Love you cousin Pam

  3. Suzanne Moeggenberg

    07 May 2019 3 years ago

    To Sharon’s family, so sorry to see this in the Midland online news. I’ve known Sharon since childhood. Sharon was a niece to my Sister-in-law Dorthy Sponseller Burch and brother-in-law Lee Sponseller. She was always so kind and friendly. We graduated together from Mt Pleasant High. She will be greatly missed. May God hold you all close to His heart at this difficult time. Suzanne Burch Moeggenberg

  4. Jane Saxon Hershberger

    07 May 2019 3 years ago

    Went to school with Sharon and have lots of wonderful memories of her with out horses and all the fun we had at sleep overs.
    She was a wonderful gal. Love her.

  5. Erin Rodammer

    07 May 2019 3 years ago

    I worked with Sharon for a few years at MidMichigan Urgent Care. She was the most upbeat, smiling angel! She shared her faith with us and she always had a good word for all. Your family are in my prayers and thoughts.

  6. Carrie Hanson

    07 May 2019 3 years ago

    Lynnsey , Rick , and the rest of the family,…so sorry for your loss. Sending you my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Laura Standen

    06 May 2019 3 years ago

    My heart breaks for all of you.
    Blessings for all of you in your coming days💕💕
    May you find peace and comfort

  8. Doug Matties

    06 May 2019 3 years ago

    I am very sorry to all who no longer has this beautiful lady in thier lives

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