Shirley passed away January 5th 2023, as her brother Ervin held her in his arms to bid her a final goodbye. She was surrounded by family and Pastor Karsten. Pastor performed a final prayer of Hope & Thanksgiving for a life well-loved and lived.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Willard B. Sheehan; parents, George and Hattie Gross (Brown); her sisters, Marcella and Phyllis; brothers, Donald, Dwayne, Stanley and Norman.
Shirley is survived by her brother, Ervin (Joan) Gross; children, Greg, Jeff (Connie), Pat (Nancy), Michael (Sue), Kelly (Steve), David (Lisa) and Dan; as well as grandchildren, Katie (Matt) Helgerson, Isaac & Naomi Kartz, Joseph Sheehan, Mark (Laura) and Eric (Allyson) Rachal, and Michael (Kassie), Matthew and Thomas Sheehan; three great granddaughters, Nora, Ella and Emily Rachal; and one great grandson, Henry Helgerson.
She was born in Pine City, Minnesota on July 25,1929. Home was on the farm on Brunswick Road outside of town. This defined much of her character. She graduated from Pine City High School in 1947. Family life defined Mom. Trips to Pine City to see “the folks” and siblings for birthdays, weddings, holidays were frequent trips up Hwy 61 by Dad and the kids. The family would visit and sometimes get in high stakes (haha) card games enjoyed by all.
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church was an important part of her life as well. She was a stalwart in the kitchen, preparing and serving countless meals for weddings, funerals and other events. She was a member of the “Quilting Club,” which created beautiful quilts for charitable purposes. The same group loved to walk Lake Phalen in summer. The Hamm’s Ladies VFW Auxiliary was also important as she was president and secretary.
Most of all, she loved her children and later her grandchildren, making trips to visit grandkids in Phoenix, St. Louis and in town. After Dad retired, Danny helped Mom and Dad with long trip vacations they may not have otherwise taken. The Black Hills, Arizona, and the West Coast were trips she enjoyed very much. She rarely missed a game of the boys’ football and wrestling matches while they were in youth sports or at Johnson High. If she missed a game, the first words out of her mouth were: “Did you win?” Comments were frequent regarding the Sheehan boys’ clean uniforms!
The telephone? One of the ways she would socialize and relax was getting updates from family members and friends from church. You pretty much had to expect that you were going to be on for an hour, or more.
She loved making things grow, mostly through prepared breakfast, lunch and 6 o’clock dinner for her kids. In addition, she loved her garden which included several varieties of flowers and vegetables.
Thanks Mom for loving and supporting us and never giving up!
See you upstairs!
Memorial service will be 11:00am Thursday, January 12 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1390 Larpenteur Ave E, with visitation one hour prior.