Shirley Jean Maschino Jackson, 87Published 3:26pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Born: Jan. 28, 1926
Died: June 2, 2013
Shirley Jean Maschino Jackson, 87, of Dowagiac, died Sunday, June 2, 2013, in Borgess-Lee Hospital, Dowagiac.
Shirley was born Jan. 28, 1926, in Tecumseh to Ernest and Alice (Hartsell) Maschino. She married Duane Everett Jackson May 8, 1948, in Eau Claire. Her husband survives. She was preceded in death by: her parents; one son, William Jackson; two sisters, Marilyn Reynolds and Janice Maschino; and one brother, Donald Maschino.
Shirley was a self-taught cake decorator. Along with her husband, she opened Shir-Lee’s Cake and Candy Store in Niles and operated it for more than 20 years.
She taught classes to hundreds of people and thoroughly enjoyed teaching 4-H youth.
Shirley was a charter member and one of the first 25 members of the International Cake Decorators Society, where she served as national secretary and vice president. That organization has since grown to more than 10,000 members worldwide.
In 1989, she was inducted into the society’s Hall of Fame, an elite group of outstanding decorators.
Shirley traveled the world, from South Africa to the State Penitentiary of Alaska, teaching decorating and gum paste design, a product of her own development. Sometimes people traveled to her home and stayed with her for weeks at a time to learn from her.
In 1974, Shirley entered an Ohio cake show with her completely edible Country Store masterpiece. Upon winning top honors, she was invited to participate in the annual Salon of Culinary Art Show in New York.
As she always said, she was the real country bumpkin competing against world renowned chefs where she won first prize for her artistic pastillage.
Over the years, Shirley created a church cake to scale for her home church in New Jersey that covered three banquet tables. She met the designer of the Jefferson nickel when she created a replica cake for the release of that coin at a local bank. She created a “Dave Thomas” cake that featured a statue of the Wendy’s Restaurants owner for a store opening in Mishawaka. He complimented her on the likeness but felt bad about having to turn down a piece because of his diabetes.
In 1974, she also created a Gingerbread Room for Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph.
At the The Timbers, Shirley became an activity assistant, telling her fellow residents of her world travels and teaching them the fine points of making gingerbread houses, Easter cookies, roses and a variety of decorative candies.
She will always be remembered for her creativity, her wittiness and her dry sense
of humor. She was always the most sparkly one in the group, the “danglier” and “sparklier” the earrings, the better.
Shirley will be greatly missed by family and friends. She is survived by: her husband, Duane Jackson of Dowagiac; one daughter, Dianne Jackson of Dowagiac; one sister, Karen (Giles “Brock”) Brockman of Petersburg, Mich.; one brother, Ronald (Dora Mae) Maschino of Britton, Mich.; one sister-in-law, Judy Maschino of Escanaba; one brother-in-law, Jim (Nancy) Reynolds of Adrian; her husband’s special sister-in-law, Sandy Jackson of St. Joseph; one unofficial adopted son, Thomas Horrall of Cassopolis; and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Family and friends gather Thursday, June 6, from 11 a.m. until time of service at 1 p.m. at Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 N. Broadway St., Cassopolis. Mrs. Jackson’s remains will be laid to rest in Caldwell Cemetery, Eau Claire.
Her family prefers memorial contributions to Hospice at Home, 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph, MI 49085.
Please share a memory or a message online: wagnercares.com.