Sharon Maxine Vichcales of Fowlerville, Michigan
1941 - 2020
Sharon Maxine Vichcales, age 79 of Fowlerville, MI, passed-away unexpectedly Thursday, December 3, 2020, in Fort Myers, Florida. Sharon was born August 15, 1941 in Detroit, MI, the daughter of DeWitt Clinton and Maxine (Ford) Severance. She is survived by her beloved husband of 60 years, Dorn J. Vichcales, daughter Donna (Denis) VandeBerg-Taylor of Webberville, MI, son Dorn (Diane) Vichcales of Portsmouth, VA, son Dr. Kevin (Julie) Vichcales of San Antonio, TX, three grandchildren, Alexander (Joe) Gates, Nicholas (Katie) VandeBerg, and Erika Vichcales. She is also survived by her loving sister Joan (Pat) Crawford of Milford, MI, niece Dawn (Scott) Campbell, nephew Tim (Cheri) Hinkle, and many extended family and friends in Michigan and Florida.
Sharon and Dorn were high school sweethearts, meeting at Redford High School. In the jargon of the day, Sharon was a “Rosedale from the right side of the tracks” and Dorn her handsome musician/singer was from the other side of town. A bit of the “bad boy” from Sharon’s father perspective but, their love for one another was undeniable, eventually leading to marriage in August of 1960. As Dorn would state, he “married up,” and Sharon was his elegant lady. Sharon and Dorn’s life together would experience the usual challenges, but regardless, they faced them squarely together overcoming all obstacles and remaining in love their entire lives, parted only by Sharon’s passing.
In their later years together they traveled widely, enjoying multiple trips to the Caribbean, China, Australia, Tahiti, Portugal, and multiple cruises in the Caribbean, and to Panama and Honduras. Sharon’s love of water and sun began in her childhood and the summers spent with her parents and sister Joan each year at Whitmore Lake, where she was an accomplished member of the Water Ski Team. At the Farmington house she and Dorn taught their children to swim and enjoy the water and sun as much as they did. After her children were grown and educated, Dorn and Sharon acquired a condo in Cancun, Mexico. There she enjoyed the turquoise water and snorkeling on annual vacations. She enjoyed the beautiful colors of the many fishes and corals. She loved to listen to the sea lapping the beach. The sea spoke to her soul, its beauty reflected in numerous ways.
Sharon was a wonderful homemaker, creating a beautiful environment for her family in each place they lived. Whether it was their humble beginning in a second hand trailer in married housing at the USMC base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., to their first house in Detroit on Stalin Street, to their third home, a new built colonial in the growing subdivision in Farmington, where they lived for seven years. Their last move, to the 29-acre farm in Fowlerville in 1977, was Sharon’s dream home. In each location, Sharon brought her elegant style and excellent taste to create a warm and welcoming environment. She enjoyed sharing her home and hospitality immensely with family and friends. The Vichcales’ house was always a place to find a warm welcome and an open door. Sharon considered her home and family her primary mission in life and her children where her heart.
In her professional career Sharon worked as a bookkeeper for many companies, including Michigan Consolidated Gas Company, Rock Haulers LLC, Century Trailers, and Child and Family Services of Michigan, State Office (CFSM). Each benefited from her precision and attention to detail. It was at CFSM, where she worked for over 30 years, that she made her greatest professional contribution. Beginning as a bookkeeper and administrative assistant to the Executive Director she quickly advanced, becoming the office manager and eventually Executive Director.
As Executive Director she guided the agency through difficult financial times as State support for social service organizations was significantly reduced, and United Way funding parameters were altered. To provide additional funding for CFSM operations, she created Michigan Specialty Insurance Agency, Inc. and served as its President. Sharon also become a licensed insurance specialist and grew a book of clients eventually valued at several million dollars. Michigan Specialty’s profits were transferred each year to CFSM to provide additional financial support for operations. In this manner, Sharon kept CFSM financially solvent and allowed essential services to continue to serve children in need.
One of Sharon’s most enjoyable activities at CFSM was the annual "Operation Good Cheer" program, which provides Christmas gifts to children who reside in foster care. Under Sharon’s supervision “Operation Good Cheer” expanded its donor base and partnerships with numerous corporations across Michigan, including Ford Motor Company. Through Sharon’s efforts, the program grew to eventually provide over 5,000 children and youth each year with gifts at Christmas. Sharon took great satisfaction knowing that she had brightened other children’s lives as she did her own each Christmas.
Sharon’s contributions were not limited to her professional work. Her volunteer efforts for over twenty years included the American Legion Devereaux Post 141 and Howell Eagles Aerie 3607, where she served as an officer of the women’s auxiliary for many years. She enjoyed participating in the activities of both organizations and interacting socially with its members.
Visitation will be held Thursday, December 10, 2020, from 2-7 p.m. at MacDonald’s Funeral Home, 315 North Michigan Ave., Howell, MI (macdonaldsfuneralhome.com). Private family services will be held Friday morning, December 11, 2020. Public graveside services will be held Friday, December 11, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. at Greenwood Cemetery, Fowlerville, MI. Due to Covid, masks and social distancing are required during visitation and services. Visitation room capacity is limited to 25 people. Your time may be limited to visit with the family, and the funeral home will keep people moving through the room to accommodate all visitors and to adhere to Covid restrictions. Those wishing to make a donation in Sharon’s name are encouraged to donate to Operation Good Cheer (cfsm.org/operation-good-cheer), a Christmas gift giving program for children in foster care, a cause she championed for over 30 years.
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