Shirley A. Lawrence, 88, of Mondovi, passed away peacefully, at home, on June 30, 2019, surrounded by her family.
Shirley was born Aug. 2, 1930, to her parents, Ray E. Harschlip and Clara D. Gessner, of Rock Falls, Wis. She was named after the popular candy bar, “Shirley Ann”. Her Godparents were neighbors Anton and Ida.
Shirley was a great-great-great-granddaughter of Alexander Babats, who settled in 1850 at the first site of Durand, Wis., growing up on the Harschlip farm between Durand and Rock Falls on Hwy 85. On the farm, she helped with chores, including driving a team of horses, using a corn binder, milking cows, shucking corn, and loading hay. She helped her mother raise nieces and nephews when they were growing up on the farm.
Shirley attended Lock Grade School on Highway 85. In 1948, she graduated from Durand High school. She then attended Eau Claire Technical College for a Business degree.
While her favorite job was tending to her family, she also had various occupations. Early on she worked for an advertising agency in Eau Claire. In 1954, in Alma, she worked for the Buffalo County Department of Farmers Home Administration. Next, she worked at the Mondovi Clinic and Hospital for over a decade with Dr. Sharp and Dr. Walker. Shirley also worked at the Mondovi NFOA Station, taking care of weigh slips, and at Tru-Gas Company, east of Mondovi. Being a people person, she helped collect data for the 1970 and 1980 census in Pepin County. Lastly, using her cooking expertise, she worked for UW-Eau Claire Food Service, before retiring in 1991.
On Sept. 23, 1950, Shirley married Ray E. Lawrence. Later they moved to the Lawrence homestead farm, where she lived for the rest of her life. On the homestead, in her early years, Shirley split wood for the cook stove, canned and froze food for her family and friends, and was an avid gardener. She was an avid deer hunter in her early days and especially enjoyed going with her friend, Connie Jackson. She had many pets including dogs, a milk cow named Mabel, and two foxes. Shirley was the queen of pie making. She baked apple, lemon, and rhubarb pie, as well as many others, but her specialty was black cap cream pie. No one ever left her house hungry. Her family has no doubt she will be busy baking pies in her kitchen in heaven.
She was a member of the Rock Falls Girls, consisting mostly of lifelong friends from the area. Shirley and Ray were members of the Pioneer Club, and crowned King and Queen of the Club in 2001.
Shirley is survived by her two sons, Larry Lawrence and Jeff Lawrence (Judy); her daughter, Connie Lawrence; grandchildren, Ian Gorman, Emily and Abbey Lawrence; sister-in-law, Orma (Lawrence) Spangberg; nephews, Gary Finn (Deb), Doug Benson (Stevie), John (Phyllis) Kohlman, Joel Spangberg and Brian Spangberg; nieces, Susan Ramsey (Oli), Barbra Shea, Pat (Geno) Oleson, Cindy (Jim) Waters, Karen Radle; as well as many other relatives, friends, Tammy (her angel of a neighbor), favorite exchange students, Christoff Schultz and Autti (Jody) Dutta, and German friends, Ralph and Claudia Mulfart and Reinhardt and Sylvia Klein.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband of over 60 years, Ray; her parents; and sisters, Arley and Betty.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 19, at Central Lutheran Church, Mondovi, with Pastor Rolf Morck officiating. Interment will follow in East Pepin Cemetery, Albany Township, Pepin County. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at Kjentvet-Smith Funeral Home, 465 W. Main St., Mondovi. An additional hour of visitation will be provided at the church on Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
Online condolences may be shared at www.kjentvet-smithfuneralhome.com.