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Shirley May (Vaughn) Brandt


1946 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Shirley May (Vaughn) Brandt Obituary
On the evening of September 5, 2017, Shirley May Brandt, age 70, from Akron, Colorado, died peacefully in her sleep at the Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. Shirley was born on December 8, 1946 at the hospital in Brush, Colorado to Roy and Alice Vaughn of Anton, Colorado. Shirley was the third oldest of 13 children who lived on the Vaughn farm east of Anton, Colorado.
As a child, Shirley went to school at the Anton, Lindon, and Arickaree Schools with her many siblings. She helped her parents as a primary caregiver and there are many stories of the brothers and sisters surprising Shirley with a frog in her bed or Shirley chasing them with whipping stick when they misbehaved. Through it all, Shirley loved, laughed, and played alongside them. As a teenager, Shirley was infected with a type of hepatitis which had long-lasting consequences for Shirley's liver and overall health throughout her life. Shirley attended business school for a brief period along the Front Range.
Shirley married Gary Brandt in 1969 and they lived on a wheat farm west of Anton for over 30 years. Shirley had three children, Rhonda, Lance, and Angela (Angie), and raised them with all of the love, attention, and care she had given her brothers and sisters. Birthday time was a fun time in the Brandt household as Shirley's three children were born within 5 days of each other - July 17, 19, and 21 - despite being born several years apart. Shirley made homemade cakes for each child, creating and decorating each cake as the child wished.
In addition, Shirley helped full-time on the farm with meals for the field, countless trips to town for parts, taking care of everything around the house, keeping up with extended family from both the Vaughn and Brandt families, and doing the record-keeping for the farm. She spent many days following her children's activities at the Woodlin and Akron Schools and was frequently the "holiday party Mom", which endeared her to many adoring fans amongst her children's classmates.
One of the greatest gifts Shirley gave her children was the ability to create, make, and appreciate the beauty in the world around them. Shirley didn't just do crafts, she engineered from her own vision many house decorations, clothes, and different types of artwork that reflected her beauty. She was active in the Lucky Lindon Ladies service club for many years, where she shared her passion for creation with many women from the surrounding farms.
After her divorce, Shirley moved to Akron, Colorado. This is about the same time her grandchildren – Tyler, Travis, Sara, and Marylyn – were born. She dearly loved and doted on her grandchildren. While in Akron, Shirley started a catering business with her six sisters, became more active in the DOES organization and joined the Red Hat Society, and worked at various jobs around Akron. She enjoyed many adventures with her friends - Judy Hoyt and Wini Johnson – and continued to crochet, paint, quilt, as well as teach her children and grandchildren how to do these things.
As the decades passed, the damage to Shirley's liver from her teenage illness led to an increasing amount of health issues. Despite her battle, Shirley kept a smile on her face, enjoyed spending time at ball games, track meets, band concerts, and other school activities, even when she wasn't related to any of the kids, visiting with members from both the Anton and Akron communities, and caring for her family. Shirley spent her final hours wrapped in love and surrounded by her family.
Shirley is preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Alice Vaughn; three brothers, Duane, Donald Jay, and Eldon; two sisters, Lea Annette, and Carolyn Fern; and one daughter-in-law, Rebecca Brandt. She is survived by five sisters, Ginger Allen, Merna Vaughn, Liz Williams, Darlene Doane, and Penny Vaughn; two brothers, John Vaughn and Alvin Vaughn; three children, Rhonda Brandt, Lance Brandt, and Angela Wylie; one son-in-law, Justin Wylie; and four grandchildren, Tyler Wylie, Travis Brandt, Sara Wylie, and Marylyn Brandt; and 23 nieces and nephews.
Everyone who Shirley met was greeted with her smile, kind nature, and many were lucky recipients of one of her creations. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and all she touched in Washington County, Colorado.
Published in Akron News-Reporter on Sept. 13, 2017
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