The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Sylvia 'Dixie' Kovacevich Shutes


HURLEY, Wis. - Sylvia "Dixie" Kovacevich Shutes moved from this life to the next on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, after celebrating her 95th birthday.

She was born Feb. 26, 1922, in Hurley, to Vaso and Johanna Kovacevich. After graduating from Hurley High School and working at Joe's Pasty Shop, Sylvia moved to lower Michigan where she proudly worked on .50 caliber Browning Machine Guns to help in the war effort.

Sylvia married Warren G. Shutes before he shipped out on his naval tour in the Pacific. After World War II, they lived in the Fenton, Mich., area, where they raised their children before eventually moving back to Ironwood, Mich.

Dixie loved life; she was delightfully mischievous, filled with spirit and vitality and was an inspiration - but mostly we remember that she was just so damn much fun and such a great joy to be around. She became something of a Florence Nightingale taking care of everyone in her circle including siblings, parents, husband, nieces and nephews, friends, neighborhood kids and especially her own children and grandchildren.

In later life, she became an accomplished painter, birdwatcher and gardener. We children remember her as a fierce and indomitable protectress. We knew she was a true lioness and we're pretty sure she was a Montenegrin Princess as well.

Dixie is survived by two sons, Richard (Lizzie), Merritt Island, Fla., and Bob (Patricia), Stockholm, Wis .; a daughter, Janice (Scott) Cobb, Duluth, Minn .; nine grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; many loving nieces and nephews; and countless friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband, Warren, on Feb. 22, 1986; a son, David; a grandson, Jason; five brothers, Rocky, Eli, Bob, Vootsie and George Kovacevich; and five sisters, Jay, Skippy, Gertie and Helen and Dorothy, who died in childhood.

A celebration of life service will be held Tuesday, April 11, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at Saint Simon's Orthodox Church in Ironwood, with her nephew, Bishop Anthony Michaels presiding.

The committal service will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Saint Simon's Orthodox Church, 226 E. Harding Ave., Ironwood, MI 49938.

Arrangements are under the direction of Jerald Rocco, owner of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, Mich.

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