In Memory of Shirley Helen Hemer
Died: November 5, 2017
A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, November 10, 2017, at the Faith Lutheran Church of Odebolt, Iowa. The Rev. Trish Underberg will officiate; with committal service following in the Hayes Township Cemetery of rural Arthur, Iowa. Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 9, 2017 at the Faith Lutheran Church of Odebolt, Iowa. The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Odebolt, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at www.christensenvanhouten.com
Shirley Helen Oxendale was born on June 13, 1931, the second child and only daughter of Joseph James "Jim" and Margaret Anna "Peg" (Fries) Oxendale. Shirley lived in the Arthur area almost all her life. At the age of nine years, she became very ill with a high fever, the source of which was never known. She was hospitalized for a full month, lost all her hair and had to learn to walk again. Her father was determined to help her regain her strength and stamina and would work with her every night, helping her to learn many simple tasks that progressed to gymnastic-like maneuvers. Thanks to her dad's concern, Shirley not only recovered, but went on to be a stand-out basketball player for AHS. She received all her education in Arthur, graduating from Arthur High School in with the class of 1949.
Jim and Peg Oxendale lived on a couple different farms before settling permanently on the farmstead about a mile and a half east of Arthur. A quarter mile further west was the Hemer farm and when handsome young Roy Hemer came home from serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he found the love of his life in the beautiful, blonde girl next door. In warm weather, Roy often called for Shirley on the 1947 Indian motorcycle he purchased when he came home from the service. In future years, many, many rides were given on that motorcycle to the children who loved these little adventures and turned them into a family memory.
Shirley married Roy in Ida Grove on January 29, 1950 and their love affair endured for more than 50 years before Roy passed on April 29, 2000. On their first anniversary, they brought home from the hospital their first child--a daughter--who would be followed by twelve more children, alternating girl-boy-girl-boy all the way down to their last child, another girl. The seven girls and six boys born to Roy and Shirley made her dream of being mother to a "baker's dozen" of children come true.
Life on the farm was full and rich, especially if you didn't count your treasures in money. Shirley spent her days as a farm wife, making a home for her family, tending to the huge garden grown every year, canning and freezing the produce for family meals. Roy and Shirley were up at dawn to begin each day, passing on a strong work ethic to their children. Whether there were cows to be milked, cattle to be fed, hay to be made, weeds to be pulled, or snow to shovel, each day was filled with honest effort and lessons taught by example of how to live a good life. But balance was also important and the family enjoyed many fun activities together, playing ball games, riding horses, sledding in winter, making homemade ice cream and popcorn on cold winter Sunday afternoons, or an afternoon at Black Hawk Lake in summer. She enjoyed the family's interest and participation in sports, and she played women's softball alongside some of her daughters in the Arthur Church League for many years.
Raising a family of 13 children was not easy or simple, but for Shirley, her family was her life and she always looked for the sun to be shining in her world every day, and if it wasn't shining, there certainly was a silver lining to be found!
Shirley enjoyed growing flowers and tending the beds of perennials that grew all around the edge of the green lawn that surrounded the little white house in which her family lived. She was an excellent seamstress, often making clothing or a warm blanket for her family, as well as expertly mending any rip or tear brought to her. She worked side by side with her family walking beans (oh the stories that can be told!), working in the garden, or being a helping hand whenever one was needed on the farm. In her later years, she continued to enjoy all family-oriented activity. Children and grandchildren stopped by the farm often just to spend time with her, which made her very happy! Shirley was feted with a family gathering for her birthday each year, but a special party for family and friends was held for her 70th, 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays. It was family gatherings and celebrations that she treasured. She loved her husband, her family and her life on the farm near little Arthur, Iowa. In addition to being the mother of 13 children, she could easily be persuaded to talk about her 42 grandchildren, or her 41 great-grandchildren and share the news of expected babies on the way. She just adored babies and it was a given that Grandma Shirley would soon be holding any and all babies present when her family was together. She will be so dearly missed by her family and friends alike.
Left to cherish her memory are 12 children: Ann (Bernie) Onnen of Schaller, IA, Joe (Eileen) Hemer of Waverly, IA, Peggy (Garry) Anderson of Sierra Vista, AZ, Lee (Karen) Hemer of Odebolt, IA, Jan (Charles) Schug of Ida Grove, IA, Jay (Sue) Hemer of Arthur, Kris (Rick) Schroeder of Odebolt, Don (Tami) Hemer of Arthur, Carl (Roxie) Hemer of Odebolt, Bonnie Hoefling of Sioux City, IA, Dave (Diane) Hemer of Arthur, and Jean (Hagen) Ludwig of Breda, IA; son-in-law, Brad Aschinger of Wall Lake, IA; 42 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren, including three great-grand babies soon expected. Shirley is also survived by her younger brother, Jim (Pat) Oxendale and her sister-in-law, Lois Oxendale, as well as nieces, nephews, many friends and extended family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy Hemer, her daughter, Mary Aschinger, two granddaughters, Colette Hemer and Quincy Ludwig, her parents, Jim and Peg Oxendale, her parents-in-law, Clarence and Amanda Hemer, two brothers, Roland Oxendale and John Oxendale, two sisters-in-law, Virginia Boggs and Ila Oxendale, and a brother-in-law, Earl Hemer.
Shirley left the legacy of a large, loving family who will miss her immensely and always remember and honor her memory.
10:30 a.m., Friday
November 10, 2017
Faith Lutheran Church
Rev. Trish Underberg
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Faith Lutheran Church
"The Old Rugged Cross"
"Church In The Wildwood"
Margaret Ann Buller, Organist
Hayes Township Cemetery
Rural Arthur, Iowa
Just saw on Facebook that your mother passed away. What fun lady to be around. Sympathy to all of you.”
Mary Jane & Don Oxendale”