Sharlene Tonkin Wach, 72, of Mesa, AZ passed away on July 7th after a short, well fought battle with cancer. Sharlene was on born October 31, 1947 in Somerville, NJ and lived there most of her life. She was the middle child of Leonard and Sylvia Tonkin.
Sharlene graduated from Somerville High School in 1965. She met the love of her life, Michael Wach, prior to starting college. They both attended and graduated from Monmouth College. After graduating, Sharlene went on to a long career in teaching. Michael and Sharlene became married In July of 1969. She was his partner, his best friend, the love of his life. Of course, they had ups and downs over the years, but they always worked it out. They moved to California and had two children, Stacy and Jeff. They later moved to Arizona, where they enjoyed their grandchildren Mackenzie, Bella, Evan and Gavin.
Sharlene was the rock of her family. She was loved by her family and friends. She was a very loving and caring mother and grandmother. While Stacy and Jeff were growing up, she was very involved and always there to support the kids at their academic award ceremonies and their softball, baseball, and soccer games. She was always there when her kids or her family needed her. She was a good role model for her children. She was very easy to talk to and was a great listener. She had a great sense of humor and when she found something especially funny, she would laugh so hard that she would get all red faced, start wheezing, and crying. We used to rate movies not by number of stars, but by number of wheezes from Mom. She loved and cherished her four grandchildren and bragged about them constantly to everyone. She tried to teach them life lessons, share stories, create memories with them, and encouraged them to follow their dreams.
Sharlene loved to travel. While the kids were growing up, the family went on at least one vacation every year. Sharlene and Michael continued to travel regularly and loved to take cruises. She would get so excited to shop and pack for each cruise. She enjoyed meeting people and seeing new places. She loved to get away, but would always say it was nice to get back home.
Sharlene was an avid shopper and she was great at it as evidenced by her extensive collection of clothes, purses, shoes, and jewelry. She was always on the hunt for a great deal. No matter where Sharlene and Michael were, in Arizona or on a vacation, she would always find her favorite store, Ross, and had to go in and take a look. He learned over the years to just go with it and not fight it.
Sharlene is survived by her loving husband, Michael, of 51 years, her children, Stacy and Jeff, her grandchildren, Mackenzie, Evan, Bella, and Gavin, her brother, Gary Tonkin, living in Minnesota as well as a son-in law, Leonard, and a daughter-in-law, Lindi. Sharlene is pre deceased by her father Leonard, her mother Sylvia, and her older brother Ronnie Tonkin.
She fought cancer to the end. She never gave up and had a strong will to live for her family. The world lost an amazing person, but we know that she will be our guardian angel watching over us and guiding us. Until we meet again….
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