Pamela K. Hirzel

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On Friday, September 11, 2020, a strong, caring, loving, wife, mother, daughter, grandma, and friend, Pamela Kay Hirzel, passed away at the age of 77.

Pam Belanger was born in Detroit, Michigan, on October 21, 1942.  In 1962 she married Jerry Hirzel, and this August they celebrated 58 joyful years of marriage. Together they raised a son, Eric, and a daughter Becky.

Pam spent years working in Garden City Schools and then retired to Gaylord, Michigan, in 2009.

Pam was well known for being an excellent cook, gardener, and jewelry fanatic. Very few people could visit without some sort of delicious meal or snack being placed in front of them. Her garden was always in pristine condition, her beloved orchids always in perfect health, and her hands always glittered with beautiful rings. Pam’s world revolved around her family. She loved spending time with them, talking on the phone with them, beating them in cards, and of course feeding them all of their favorite things. While she was a Michigan girl through and through, she looked forward to the annual trip to Florida. She loved the warmth, the beach, and most of all the people.

She is survived by her mother, Rita; her husband, Jerry; her siblings, Cathy (Ken) Kajkowski and Mark (Patty) Belanger; her two children, Eric (Valerie) Hirzel and Becky (Gunnar) Styles; and four grandchildren, Trevor, Hunter, Brecken, and Shaw.

Pam was preceded in death by her father, Lawrence.

Pam’s strength and smile will carry on strong with those that had the privilege to know her.

We invite you to an outdoor Celebration of Life for Pam on Saturday, September 19, 2020, from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at Eric’s Home at 5757 Curdy Lane in Howell, Michigan.  A short, informal service will take place at 4:00 p.m.  Table and chairs will be set up for social distancing and masks will be available.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, at P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

11 comments on “Pamela K. Hirzel”

  1. My heartfelt sympathies for your loss.

    I feel Our Deeds Are Our Monuments. Pam Hirzel’s Deeds were Monumental- her yummy cookies; her caring; her giving the best gifts; nurturing her grand kids; her master tasking, getting it all done, her support for all things, Jerry, and her time, that she gave to Everyone. All her deeds will grant her a Grand Monument in everyone’s heart. This will remain there Forever!!! My prayers for you. She will be greatly missed by you, and all who met her.
    Much love and healing to you. Find Peace in your heart through all the sorrow. 🙏🏻. Cindy Buza.

  2. Cindy (Beach) Hill

    We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend Pam. My mother and father, Elaine and Bill Beach (passed in 2011), met Pam and Jerry many years ago in Gaylord. They both have (had) cottages on Otsego Lake. Our two families have been good friends ever since. Pam and Jerry and my mom and dad played tennis together. Dad and Jerry trout fished at night and mom and Pam got through some late night worries together. Pam and mom thought as long as the two “boys” were together and not lost, they were “ok”! Elaine and Bill’s children are Cindy, Curt and Craig. We got to know Eric and Becky. The Beach and the Hirzel cottages were about a mile apart. Elaine and Bill and Pam and Jerry spent a lot of time at each others’ cottages….therefore so did us kids. I have so many fond memories of Pam and, of course, they keep running through my mind now. She was such an outgoing, fun person and so easy to talk to. She had a sincere smile and a warm heart. She loved to drive their speedboat. We didn’t have a speedboat and Pam would take us waterskiing. We had a blast always with Pam! I loved the campfires with the Hirzel’s. I loved just hanging out at their cottage or watching them play tennis (I didn’t like to play tennis…some of the kids did, but not me). Pam ALWAYS made you feel welcome. Then we all grew up. I remember how Pam would excitedly tell us the details of Becky and Gunnars wedding planning. Their wedding was a wonderful celebration that everyone enjoyed. We saw Pam and Jerry less often as we branched out into our own lives. Whenever we went to the cottage, we would see Pam and Jerry and with Pam, it was like no time had passed at all. Pam was just one of those people who was genuinely friendly and happy. Pam would always fill us in PROUDLY about what Eric and Becky were doing. Then Eric and Val blessed her with their first grandchild. Pam lovingly told us about Trevor and Hunter . Then came Becky and Gunnar’s girls and Pam would tell us all about Brecken and Shaw also. Pam was so proud of her family, and she should be. The entire Hirzel family are wonderful and we are lucky to have them as friends. Pam loved her family deeply and was a special wife, mother, and grandmother. We will miss her. I will always remember her smile and her laugh. She has a special place in my heart. Our prayers are with all of her family at this difficult time. With Love, Mike and Cindy (Beach) Hill

  3. Robert & Brenda Rosenworth

    Our very dear friend Pam will be missed every single day. Rob and I will remember all the good times together over the past 50 years, the card games, going out for dinner, not to mention Pam’s great dinners served. She made the best apple pie ever. And We fondly remember the winters we spent together in Florida. Pam was an amazing friend, full of life, always there for you, whether you needed a recipe or a phone call to just talk about what’s been happening in our lives. She spent her life devoted to Jerry, her children and grandchildren. Losing her leaves a big void for all, but she will always be in our hearts. Sending our heartfelt prayers to all of you.

  4. Otsego Lake was my happy place growing up. And Pam was like a 2nd mother to me. She would take me blueberry picking, and even though I ate most of the blueberries that I picked, Pam still let me eat a piece of the delicious blueberry pie that she made. I have so many fond memories sitting with Pam out on the green bench by our tennis court, just chatting, catching up, and laughing. Pam had an amazing smile, a wonderful laugh, and was so good to my mother and me. She loved the sidewalk sales, and I loved looking down from our cottage to hers, and seeing her lounging on her air mattress in the lake. She was always so welcoming to our entire family, and truly the rock and glue of our sweet little neighborhood on the lake. I loved growing up with the Hirzels just two cottages down, and loved playing with Eric and Becky growing up, and then my 3 kids had so much fun with Trevor and Hunter a few summers. Jerry and Pam were so good to my late mother Betty Turner, helping her in so many ways, and just being an amazing friend to her for 50+ years at the lake. Pam was a unique, loving, special, and positive woman, a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She will be missed. Prayers to Jerry, Eric and Becky and their families. Love, Laura (Barstow) Gamble

  5. Our most sincere condolences to all of the Hirzel Family!! What a wonderful testimony to a beautiful life❤ God Bless each of you, at this very sad time❤
    Sincerely, Rose & Jim Creehan

  6. I am so sad to see this. I have missed seeing Pam at the Sportsplex, she was a longtime patron of water aerobics. Pam was so proud of her family. She always kept us updated with their wonderful accomplishments and busy lives. Sending comforting hugs, peace and love. So very sorry for your loss.

  7. In the early 1970’s our “lost dog”, Tally Beach , was pulling Pam Hirzel down Compton Drive. (Otsego Lake, Gaylord) Tally had left our place and settled in with the Hirzel’s for a few days, unbeknownst to us. Pam was out walking to find Tally’s home. When they “passed” our driveway, Tally pulled Pam to our cottage. That is how we met and began a 50 year friendship, I have many unbelievable memories including, playing tennis, and delicious meals, whipped up by Chef Pam. In the past few years, Pam called me often and brightened my days when health concerns stopped at my door in Ludington. Pam was the sister I never had. I am keeping all of Pam’s family in my prayers. Love, Elaine Beach

  8. Of course I met Pam at the courts, playing tennis, which she loved and hated to give up. We then took it “inside” to swim aerobics” which was a lot of talking for all. She was a constant at the Farmers Market and was always available for a good “catch up” . I’m sorry it had to happen during a pandemic because many Gaylord friends would have turned out to say goodbye.
    Many happy memories and many prayers to your family. Kathleen Arndt

  9. Jeff and Nancy Qualls

    So sorry to hear of Pam’s passing.
    My wife and I are retired Garden City teachers and we both knew Pam through our work at Memorial Elementary and the Jr. High. She was a true professional, working in the library and office with teachers and students, but we also came to know her as a warm and caring friend…always positive and with a pleasant smile.
    Years ago we had lake property in Gaylord and we visited Pam and Jerry at their beautiful Otsego Lake home. Now we spend our Winters in Florida and just 2 years ago we discovered that Pam and Jerry have been staying near us in Englewood, about 2 miles from our home. We surprisingly ran into them occasionally at various events and stores, and even got together for dinner.
    Our condolences to Jerry and family and sorry to lose such a good friend and neighbor.

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