She could delight and entertain us with anecdotes of everyday people, problems and circumstances, laughing hilariously in her deep-throated, husky laugh. Her generosity was incomparable, always remembering those she cared for, and for others whose lives were not as comfortable. Shirley received her BA degree from the University of Iowa and MA from Michigan State. With three years of successful teaching in her home state of Iowa, she longed for adventure and travel, and found that opportunity with the Department of Defense Overseas Schools. Her first assignment with DoDDS was as an elementary teacher in Germany in 1961 with successive tours in France, England, Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines.
She was a responsible, caring person who could take on the seriousnesss of a situation and its resolve, volunteering for long-term time consuming tasks on committees at work or collecting funds for building employees’ wages and welfare.
To entertain her friends, she often rented an entire restaurant or hosted outdoor theme parties, dressing in outrageous costumes. One time she appeared at a pre Christmas party with flashing lighted earrings; at a Halloween party she was disguised as a retired Playboy Bunny, complete with fuzzy tail and rabbit ears. If the moments were dull, she usually found a way to make people laugh. During a very serious function at the Officers’ Club, she attached a long piece of toilet paper to her shoe, walking down the steps and amongst the tables of formally dressed people listening to their remarks and snickers.
Shirley lived life to the fullest, while remembering first her family and friends. The memory of her compassion, thoughtfulness, and love will remain dear to us always.
Prepared by Joan Sprague