Cover photo for Shirley Ann Duewel's Obituary
Shirley Ann Duewel Profile Photo
1933 Shirley 2021

Shirley Ann Duewel

October 24, 1933 — September 4, 2021

Shirley Ann Shipherd Duewel passed away peacefully at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center, Grants Pass, Saturday evening, Sept. 4, 2021, due to the slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Shirley was born in St. Louis, Mo., on Oct. 24, 1933, the daughter of Arthur and Esther Shipherd. Her brother John (Jack) followed her four years later and they grew up around and attended Normandy High, where their father coached and taught. Shirley excelled in academics and was active in swimming, golf and other sports, and excelled at piano with a beautiful soprano voice.

She attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, where in her sophomore year she met a tall young man from the Ozarks, Dennis “Denny” Duewel.

After graduating in 1954 with a teaching degree, Shirley married Denny on Aug. 20, 1954, in St. Louis, and began a journey that spanned 67 years.

After a short stay in Alexandria, Va., where Denny was stationed in the Army, they moved back to Columbia where Shirley taught school and Denny finished graduate school.

In 1957 the young couple settled in Mexico, Mo., and oldest son Steve was born soon after. Sons Jeff, John, and Alan were born in the next seven years.

Shirley sacrificed much for her young family, and also kept her education credentials with substitute teaching. If she wasn’t leading a Cub Scout activity, it was trips to the local pool, or piano lessons, teaching Sunday School at the Methodist Church, trips to the library, cooking any fish the boys dragged home, baseball practice, and family trips to the Ozarks or to the grandparents’ houses.

Shirley's adventures and devotion to her sons and Denny through his geology/mining career continued as the family moved west to Elko, Nev., in 1972.

She was an anchor at home, and was tirelessly committed to her family and supported their activities. She taught Sunday School at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and traveled around the state with Denny following all the youth and high school sports and band events. She made many friends playing bridge, and enjoyed the small-town atmosphere in Elko.

During the empty-nester years, Shirley and Denny enjoyed gardening, trailer trips to Arizona, golf at Ruby View, visits to Oregon, California, and North Dakota, and chasing around grandkids. Always giving, she also found time to tutor underprivileged youth.

In 1996 Shirley and Denny retired to Grants Pass and built their dream home in the Applegate Valley. They enjoyed hosting family gatherings out on the Naturescape Road “ranch” with the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, trees, and Applegate Valley. Shirley was active with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Grants Pass and continued her interests in music and education. She also welcomed her mother, Esther “Nana”, to Grants Pass and was devoted to her well-being. She especially delighted in her youngest granddaughter, Avery, often attending her music and drama productions.

Shirley was all about her faith and family. She had a strong conviction and faith in Jesus and persevered through life despite health challenges, all while living on opposite coasts from her folks and brother and family. Her last years were difficult with Alzheimer’s disease, but her smile and love of family remained.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents and one grandson, Dustin.

She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Dennis of Grants Pass; four sons and their spouses and children, Steve (Cathy) of Bismarck, N.D., (Derek, Erica, Kerby, Roman, Pat); Jeff (Kathleen) of Grants Pass (Avery); John (Suzy) of Carlsbad, Calif. (Scott, Stefanie); and Alan (Julie) of Reno, Nev. (Davis, Hannah, Rachel). She also leaves behind a brother, John Shipherd, of New Bern, N.C.; her two nieces, Katherine Falk and Kristen Shipherd of North Carolina; and 10 great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank Cathy Chase of Advantage Health Care for her wonderful support and care for Shirley for several years, along with the staff at The Suites Assisted Living.

Arrangements are being made by Hull & Hull Funeral Directors of Grants Pass, with a private family memorial to be held in the coming months.

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


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