George E. “Cuffo” Sharkey, age 93, of Munising, died peacefully, Saturday, August 27, 2022, surrounded by his loving family at U.P. Health Systems – Marquette. He was born on June 16, 1929, in Munising, Michigan to the late Edward and Beatrice (Miron) Sharkey. He grew up in Munising and graduated from Wm. G. Mather High School in 1948. George entered the U.S. Army on January 2, 1951. He served with the recon company of the 24th Infantry Division and was stationed in Japan supplying tank support for the Korean War. George was honorably discharged December 20, 1952, as a Sgt. (T). On November 21, 1953, he married the love of his life Ann and together they began their family. George worked at the Munising Paper Mill and held several positions. He retired from Kimberly Clark on January 1st, 1989, after 39 ½ years of service working as an oiler operator. Following retirement, Cuffo and Ann enjoyed many years of wintering in Florida. From 1970 to 1974 they owned and operated Sharkey’s Flower Shop. During the 70’s, they enjoyed snowmobiling and dancing together at the Knotty Club, Sylvan Inn, and Beaver Park. George also played baseball, bowled, and was an avid golfer. He proudly wore his “Honolulu Blue” and supported his Lions no matter what. Cuffo also loved cheering on the Detroit Tigers (or Tagers as he would call them) and loved all Michigan sports teams. George loved music and he was a proud member of the Munising Vanguards for many years traveling to different live events around the Midwest. One might also say that Cuffo had the gift of gab as he loved to converse about things he had a passion for.
Aside from his family and the Lord, George Sharkey loved his community, and was instrumental in many projects and committees that make Munising great. George was a charter member of the Pictured Rocks Golf and Country Club and served on the board of directors during the early years. Above and beyond from his board member responsibilities, Cuffo spent many hours preparing the current site removing debris from what is now fairway and greens. He also supported numerous other course projects. George served on the Munising School Board from 1978 to 1980 and helped build the Munising High School, providing a safe and up-to-date school for our growing town. George was also a part of the construction of the Alger Centennial Ice Arena where he served as the rink manger, Zamboni driver, and helped coordinate the All-Class Reunions. He served on the Munising City Commission from 1971 to 1973 and later sat on the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) doing all they could to keep Munising a beautiful and inviting city. He was also a member of the American Legion. George was honored as the Grand Marshall alongside Frank Stimac at the 4th of July Parade in 2019.
George and Ann were faithful members of Sacred Heart Church and loved his parish. George was a lector and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He and Ann would help decorate the church for the seasons, George on the ladder with Ann telling him “A little higher.” If there was work to be done, no one had to ask, George was there to do it and he was still painting anything that needed a touch up into his late 80’s.
George was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and his community.
He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law – Steve and Laura Sharkey of Island Lake, IL; grandsons – Ryan (Emily) Sharkey and Mitchell (Sarah) Sharkey; great-grandchildren – Colton and Quinn; sisters – Lois Taylor, Pat Wester, Judy (Butch) Patience, and JoAnn Cromell; sisters-in-law – Pauline Sharkey and Carol Dauzy; and numerous nieces and nephews. George was preceded in death by his wife of over 63 years - Ann Sharkey; children - Greg, Bobby, and Renee Sharkey; parents Edward and Beatrice; brother – Robert “Linko” Sharkey; sister - Clarice Sharkey; in-laws – Ed and Flossie Dauzy; brothers and sisters-in-law – Red Taylor, Dick Wester, Mike Cromell, Paul Dauzy, Claire (Jim) Sangraw, Jean (Jim) Hoholic, Lois (Toby) Eimerman, and Dorothy (Norm) Underwood.
Visitation will be on Thursday, September 1, 2022 at the Bowerman Funeral Home from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. Cuffo’s Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Michael Ocran on Friday, September 2 at 12:00 noon at Sacred Heart Church in Munising. Interment will be at the Maple Grove Cemetery where committal prayers and military honors will be rendered by the American Legion and Vietnam Veterans Honor Guard on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. In Lieu of flowers donations may be made in George’s name to Pictured Rocks Golf and Country Club (P. O. Box 236 Munising, MI 49862).
The family would also like to thank the caregivers and staff at the Commission on Aging for their care they provided as well as the staff at Bowerman Funeral Home.