Shirley passed away peacefully, surrounded by love, at age 86 on August 20, 2023, at the HopeWest Care Center in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Shirley Donna Shank, born March 23, 1937, was the youngest of ten children born to Russell Wiley and Jeanette (Stoutsenberger) Shank on their farm at Stratton, Nebraska. Having lost her mother just before turning three years old, Shirley was lovingly cared for by her Daddy and older siblings and extended family growing up. She was preceded in death by her parents and all of her siblings.
Following High School graduation, Shirley joined many of her family members in Denver, Colorado. There, she met Richard Ivie in March of 1958. They were married five months later, on August 16. Theirs is a love story and partnership that has endured. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with the help of the caring people at HopeWest just four days before her passing.
Shirley and Rich built their family (daughter, Christine, born in 1961, and son, Thomas, born in 1963) and their lives together to include a great deal of hard work mixed with wonderful adventures and memories. Camping, snowmobiling, great vacations, and many fun times were shared with family and friends.
In 1971, they moved to Hot Sulphur Springs, a small mountain town on Colorado’s western slope. “Sulphur” quickly became their home, and they were an integral part of the community. Amid the many jobs she held through the years, Shirley was the Town Clerk for a long period. Among Rich and Shirley’s contributions to the town, they donated the land and much labor to create a beautiful Town Park, which includes a ball field, playground, tennis courts, and other amenities. They resided in Sulphur until moving to Grand Junction in 2017 to be near their children and grandchildren. Everyone was happy to have Gram and Papa close by.
As Shirley’s dementia progressed over the years, it never robbed her of the joy she felt about her family and her beloved husband. Rich became her loving caregiver and advocate and was at her side until the end.
No services are planned. A picnic for family and friends will be held at a later date. The family would request that in lieu of flowers, any gifts of remembrance be made in Shirley’s name to HopeWest, 3090 N. 12th Street, Unit B, Grand Junction, CO 81506, or online at www.hopewestco.org.