Shirley Locher passed away at home in Green Isle, MN, surrounded by family, on July 11, 2020. She was 96 years old.
Shirley Marie Fulkerson was born in Mora, MN on February 17, 1924. She went to school in Mora and graduated from Mora High School in 1942. On June 19, 1948, Shirley married Alfred “Bud” Locher at the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, Iowa. They raised their two daughters, Gwendolyn and Cynthia, in Green Isle. Shirley spent 72 years in Green Isle, MN and was active at home, at church and in the community. When she was asked to volunteer, Shirley Locher couldn’t say no. She was a longtime member of the PTA, Sunday School treasurer, Girl Scout leader and was active in Ladies Aid and Couples Club. In the home she could do anything, including sewing, knitting, crocheting, canning and quilting. Shirley was an exceptional cook and baker, famous for her many different kinds of pies, fish fries and her traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. When Shirley wasn’t volunteering, cooking or working around the house she always made time for one of her favorite pastimes—shopping! No matter how busy she was, or how she felt, if Gwen or Cyndy wanted to run into Eden Prairie, Southdale or the Westgate Mall in Brainerd, Shirley put on some lipstick, grabbed her purse, and said, “let’s go shopping!”
Family was at the center of Shirley’s life. As a young newlywed and parent, she was also the caregiver to her mother-in-law, father-in-law and her own mother. Shirley was married to Bud Locher for 68 years and they were never apart. As young parents, they were busy raising their two daughters, Gwen and Cyndy. They enjoyed spending weekends at their beloved cabin and spending time with Shirley’s 10 brothers and sisters and Bud’s family. In their retirement years Bud & Shirley traveled to nursing homes around the state to perform sing-alongs, Bud on his trusty accordion and Shirley on vocals. They enjoyed their winter home in Tucson and also traveled all over the world, including Germany, Switzerland and Hawaii.
Shirley’s favorite role in life was being “Grandma Shirley”. Bud and Shirley had five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Grandma Shirley was always there for her grandchildren, baking cookies, reading stories and doing puzzles.
Shirley received loving care for the past eight years in her home from a wonderful group of caregivers, who were at her side with compassion and a smile every day.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred “Bud” Locher, her parents, Orville and Grace Fulkerson; her four brothers, Robert, Wayne, James and Ivan; and four sisters, Genevieve, Ramona, Florence and Madrene. She is loved and will be remembered by her daughters Gwen (Bob) Utendorfer and Cyndy (Dan) Seeman; grandchildren Dan (fiancé, Becky Jo Schmit) Utendorfer, Missy (Brian) Jenneke, Paul (Misty) Utendorfer, Mary Clare and Hannah Seeman; great-grandchildren Zach, Ali, Breea, Owen, Devon, Brady, Maddy, Megan and Natalie; her brother, Sheldon, and sister, Elma; and many relatives and friends.
A private family service was held on Tuesday, July 14 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Pastor Eric Rapp officiated and the service featured two of Shirley’s favorite hymns—How Great Thou Art and The Church In The Wildwood. Dan Utendforfer, Zach Utendorfer, Owen Utendorfer, Paul Utendorfer, Brian Jenneke and Devon Jenneke served as casket bearers. Hannah Seeman and Breaa Utendorfer were readers while Clare Seeman and Dan Seeman delivered family memories. Following the service, the family gathered for burial at the Arlington Public Cemetery. Memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Ridgeview Hospice Care.
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