Cover photo for Shirley E. Rizzo's Obituary
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1921 Shirley 2023

Shirley E. Rizzo

February 10, 1921 — October 4, 2023

Grosse Pointe Farms


RIZZO, Shirley E. (Thomson, Chapman, Corbit) - Age 102 of Grosse Pointe Farms, passed away at home on October 4, 2023. Shirley was born February 10, 1921 in Detroit, the daughter of Thomas and M. Harriet Swingle. She was schooled K-12 in the same building in small town Linden, Michigan. She attended Michigan State briefly then went on to attend secretarial school in Ypsilanti. She married Arthur Thomson. The newlyweds lived in Hollywood, CA until 1942 when Arthur was recruited as a civilian military flight instructor in Mississippi for the duration of WWII. Following the war, they returned to Flint, where Arthur continued flight instruction until he lost his life in a plane crash with a student in 1947. Shirley moved to Detroit where she worked at Downtown Hudson’s in the cosmetics department. She married Charles Chapman, and had her only child, Thomas. With true grit and determination, she raised her son alone while working at U.S. Customs as a secretary. She then married Ross Corbit, President of Hiram Walker, and settled in Grosse Pointe Woods. They shared world travel adventures together until his passing. She continued world traveling for many years with her friends and sister, Marjorie Kimble. She married Sam Rizzo, a WWII Navy Veteran, in 1982 and enjoyed a long and happy marriage until his death in 2006. Shirley was very generous to family, friends, strangers in need, and charities. She loved her family fiercely and made time frequently to nurture her grandchildren while they were growing up, whether on the floor playing cars and trucks, dinosaurs, dolls, tea party or restaurant. She would read and write stories together with them, play endless card and board games. When old enough, she took them on many travel adventures. Shirley was a champion baby snuggler. She leaves behind numerous fun and fabulous memories for all that were privileged to know and spend time with her. In her later years, she lived independently until age 101. She spent her last year in the loving and supportive home of her son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and Mary Chapman. She will be deeply missed by her grandchildren, Christopher (Melissa) Chapman and Ann Marie (Drew) Jones; great-grandchildren, Laura and William Chapman, Sofia, Drew, Brady and Ryan Jones; her extended family and many dear friends. Arrangements entrusted to Sharp Funeral Homes, Linden Chapel, 209 E. Broad St., Linden. Tributes may be shared at

The family will gather privately to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Angela Hospice, 14100 Newburgh Rd. Livonia, MI 48154 (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley E. Rizzo, please visit our flower store.


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