William Shurtliff

SHURTLIFF, William Monde (“Bill”)

On July 5, 2023 dearly beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather Bill Shurtliff was born to eternal life. Bill was also a much-loved Ann Arbor artist. For more than four decades, thousands have purchased postcards, note cards, calendars, and original artwork featuring Bill’s iconic pen & ink/watercolor drawings of scenes of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan campus. Also for decades, Bill has played in classic rhythm & blues bands at local bars, events, and parties – sitting behind the drums and singing lead vocals.

Bill was born April 24, 1947, the first child of Lewis William (“Bill”) and Evelyn (Byrd) Shurtliff, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He grew up when Ann Arbor was a fun, and fine place for young boys to ride their bikes freely around the Diag and around campus.

The spheres of Bill’s life were mainly Ann Arbor, Jackson, and Manchester: Attending Jones and Angell Elementary Schools and University High School in Ann Arbor, graduating from Parkside HS in Jackson, and earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors degree from University of Michigan. Bill played in bands in those towns and throughout the state. Not limiting his talents to his hometown of Ann Arbor, Bill created artwork which is sold at colleges, large and small, across the country.

But the sphere Bill loved most was his family and friends. Bill treasured and blessed his marriage to his wife Janet; the births of his five children – Melody (Chad) Elder, Zoe Shurtliff, William Vida (Rachelle) Shurtliff, Keenan (Greg) Allion, Josiah (Emily) Shurtliff; as well as fourteen grandchildren: Isaiah (Bethany), William, Luke, Hanna, Karissa, Evelyn, Helen, Noelle, Addison, Annika, John, Melanie, Mark, Thomas; and one great-grandchild Ellis John (“Jack”); sisters Dana and Jody; and many cousins, nieces and nephews, and in-laws. He also had great love for his many bandmates over the years, and the many friendships he developed with business owners, organization leaders, and University contacts. And Bill had a deep love for the “guys” he cared for in the late 90s and early 2000s at the St. Louis Center in Chelsea.

Following his service in the United States Army in the late 60s, Bill came home to attend U of M. It was while in college that he married his wife Janet, and together they raised their family and developed a business based on Bill’s talents in pen & ink and watercolor drawings of Ann Arbor, the campus and the town. Becoming a family business, Bill Shurtliff Studios and Gallery242 eventually produced artwork of literally hundreds of scenes of campuses across the country. All with the delicate and happy touch of the little kid who rode his bike on the Diag in the 50s.

Bill’s creativity in art, music, writing, his kindness, and wonderful sense of humor, his solid faith, all can be seen in the many, many people who knew Bill and loved him – either personally, professionally, or from his legacy of artwork. Bill was generous in donating artwork to many causes that support the vulnerable. He touched so many lives in so many ways, his memory is embedded in the hearts of those who loved him. He will be dearly missed.

The funeral Mass will be Monday, July 10, 2023 at 11:00am at St. Mary Catholic Church, 210 W. Main St, Manchester, celebrated by Rev. Father Bosco Padamattummal. There will be Visitation at 10:00am, beginning with the praying of the Rosary. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery, Manchester. All are invited to a funeral luncheon at St. Mary Parish Center, 110 E. Madison St, Manchester, following the Mass and burial.

Memorial contributions are suggested to St. Mary Roman Catholic Church of Manchester or St. Louis Center of Chelsea. Please leave a message of comfort for Bill’s family or sign his guestbook at

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