WAUNAKEE / MIDDLETON - Shirley M. Smith (nee Stengelsen), age 94, passed away suddenly Sat. August 10, 2019 at UW Hospital of a very short illness. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She was born to Lawrence and Lillian Stengelsen in Duluth, MN on Nov. 10, 1924.
Shirley spent her childhood and young adult years in Duluth. She met the love of her life, Wally Smith, in high school. They were married on Valentines day 1945 after Wally returned from service in WWII. When Wally went back to school at the University of Minnesota, they moved to Minneapolis, where both of their daughters, Sharon and Nancy, were born. Shirley and Wally were married for 63 loving years. They moved their family around several times when their girls were young, but finally settled in Middleton where they happily lived for 35 years. When Wally retired they moved to the Gulf Coast for warmer weather and Wally’s golf!
Shirley moved back to the Middleton area after Wally passed away in 2008 to be closer to family. She lived at Rosewood Villas and most recently at Waunakee Manor.
Shirly was a loving, joyful, witty, generous and gracious lady who made many dear friends wherever she landed. She was the best wife and mom anyone could ever hope for and considered these her most important jobs in life. She loved to read and write and wanted to be a journalist. She was an avid history buff, especially English history. She played golf and cards with her many friends and did the crosswords every day. She was an active member of her home church of St. Bernards in Middleton and was a girl scout leader at their school when her girls attended school there. She came to love the weekly Mass and singing at Waunakee Manor. Thank you Msgr. Gunn et al.
Shirley will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her brother, David Stengelsen; daughters; Sharon Tonn, and Nancy Heller-Rosenberger (Mike); grandchildren, Jennifer Merlet (Mike), Kristine Tonn, Adam Tonn (Jessie), and Peggy Zimmer (Tim); great grandchildren; Ryan and Megan Merlet, Mary Elizabeth and William Tonn, Megan Rappelyea, and Tyler Zimmer; as well as two great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Wally, brother Larry Stengelsen, and son-in-law Ralph Tonn.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, August 22, 2019 at ST. BERNARDS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2015 Parmenter St., Middleton, Wis. 53562, with visitation from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass.
We want to thank the staff at UW Hospital for their wise care and making her last day peaceful. Special thanks to all the wonderful staff, volunteers, and other residents at Waunakee Manor who made Shirley’s last years so happy and secure. Please share a memory at www.CressFuneralService.com.