“A Seed from the Plant of Life”
Henrene Eyvette (Kilgore) Sheffey finished her earthly journey on September 28, 2021, at 4:17 a.m. She was a seedling born to Marvin Dewitt Kilgore and Erin( Martin) Kilgore in Marianna, AR on July 17, 1925. She was the eldest of six children.
Kitt, as she was lovingly known by her siblings, attended and graduated from Robert R. Moton High School in Marianna, AR. Shortly thereafter She lived with several relatives while traveling the United States to Madera, CA, Dodge City, KS, Chicago, IL before finally settling in Western Michigan with two of her favorite uncles in Muskegon and Grand Rapids.
In 1944, she began attending GR Junior College now (GRCC) receiving an Associate in Science Degree. During this time she met the love of her life, Fontaine Jacob Sheffey, Sr. They married and had four children (seedlings). She completed her academic studies at Aquinas College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry.
Henrene had the exclusive honor of interning with the famous Dr. Grace Eldering (inventor of the whooping cough vaccine) at the State Laboratory. She went on to work at several other labs in the area. She completed her career as a Hematology and Urinalysis Supervisor at Butterworth Hospital where she was employed for 40 years.
Henrene loved crossword puzzles, nature, flowers, birds, fishing and camping. Her passion was gardening. She was known in the neighborhood for keeping all kinds of specimens in jars. Her young children often charged kids to see the jars. She was a true intellectual and often read a book a week. She even spoke and took a course in Chinese. Her favorite TV show was Jeopardy.
She volunteered her expertise at the Franklin Hall Complex where they had a miniature lab. Kitt was a member of St. Philips Episcopal Church for over 75 years and served with the Daughters of the King.
Henrene is preceded in death by her father, Marvin Dewitt Kilgore, Sr. and mother, Erin (Martin) Kilgore-Johnson; her dear son, Vincent Sheffey of Detroit, MI; three siblings: Alvin Willie Kilgore of Philadelphia, PA; Dewitt Kilgore, Jr. of St. Louis, MO; and Mable Lee Jones (Kilgore) of Chicago, IL.; One grandson: Raphael Walton Sheffey of South Holland, IL.
Left to cherish her memory are: two sons and one daughter, Gaylord (Lori) Sheffey of Plainfield, IL.; Fontaine Sheffey, Jr. (Dot) of Romulus, MI; and Harriet (Percell) Singleton of Kentwood, MI; Two siblings: Dr. Rosalie Jackson of Inglewood, CA and Kay Francis Montgomery of Chicago, IL; 12 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren; and countless nieces, nephews, cousins and family friends.
Henrene was extremely proud of her four children and that each one earned a college degree. She had an unusual affinity towards the scientific world. She will always be remembered for her sense of humor, her stress on education, quiet humble demeanor, and her generous contributions to her community and church.
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