Sirrine, Ernest “Ernie”, Merrill, Michigan

Passed away March 5, 2014, at St. Mary’s of Michigan with his family by his side. Ernie was born May 20, 1931, in Homer Township, Midland, MI to the late James and Ethel (Phillips) Sirrine. He graduated from Midland High School with the class of 1949. Ernie signed with the Detroit Tigers in 1949 playing with farm teams through 1951 which included the Saginaw Bears/Jack Rabbits. Ernie served in the U.S. Army from 1952-1953. On February 23, 1950, he married his high school sweetheart Maryann Marsh. Into this union there were three children born: Jeffrey, Michael, and Sally. Maryann predeceased him July 29, 1966. On May 20, 1967, he married the former Carol Wenzel (Swarthout) and they united their two families-his three children and her two, Wade and Wenda Swarthout. At that time he moved from Midland to Merrill. Among his joys in life were hunting, fishing, softball, baseball, and golf. A special place in his heart was being able to watch his grandchildren in their many sports. He served on the board of the Merrill Village Council from 1981-1987 and is a member of the Merrill Congregational Church. Ernie was inducted into the Michigan Amateur Softball Hall of Fame in 1988. He was inducted into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. After retirement from Dow Corning Hemlock Semi Conductor in 1990 he spent time working at Crooked Creek Golf Course where he also gave golf lessons. He also coached Merrill High School Golf Teams and Merrill J.V. baseball for several years. His next endeavor was to open “Ernie’s Golf Club Repair” where he spent many enjoyable hours repairing and building new clubs. Ernie was a life-time member of Twin Bridges Golf Course and thoroughly enjoyed his Wednesday Scramble with his friends. He is survived by his wife Carol; son Jeff (Theresa) Sirrine and their children, Jeffery Sirrine and Maryann (Aaron) Kozak all of Brighton; son, Mike (Kim) Sirrine of Marquette and their sons, Eric (Brittany) Sirrine and Doug Sirrine; daughter Sally (Jim) Reese and their children, Jessica (Zach) Bruggner, James (Claire) Reese, Erica, David, and Jillian Reese all of Brighton; his “son” by marriage Wade (Kathy) Swarthout of Midland and their children Ashley (Jim) Welch, Dustin Swarthout and Trevor Swarthout, Kristy (James) Wegener, Jamie Diener and Steve Diener; “daughter” Wenda (Mike) Fillenworth and their children Lauren, Brandon, Jordyn, and Lyndsey all of Weidman; also surviving are 14 great-grandchildren; and sister, Phyllis Leigeb of Midland. He was preceded in death by his sister Ermalee Leigeb and brother Tom Sirrine. A celebration of his life led by his family will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at W. L. Case & Company, 125 E. Saginaw St., Merrill. A private burial will be held in Homer Township Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family at the funeral home on Friday from 2:00-8:00 p.m. and again on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the family for a golf memorial to be set-up.