Shirlie Yocom

Shirlie Yocom

Des Moines

Shirlie Lorraine Yocom, 89, peacefully passed away on Saturday December 8, 2012. She was born in Minot, North Dakota on February 4, 1923. Her family relocated to San Jose, CA when she was very young.

In 1940, Shirlie graduated from San Jose High School. She often shared that young Frank Sinatra performed at her senior prom. World War II led her to a job in Alaska, where she met her future husband who was an officer in the Navy. She relocated to Chariton to marry Curt Yocom on November 1, 1947.

In 1962, Shirlie enrolled at Simpson College and completed her BA, followed by a Masters Degree in English from NE Missouri State. She made substantial progress towards her PhD. For 22 years, Shirlie taught English in the Chariton school system where she inspired and left a lasting impression on hundreds of students.

Shirlie enjoyed volunteering in her community where she was active in the Chariton Women's Club, PEO, and the Lucas County Republican party. She also served as board member of the Arthritis Foundation, Iowa Children's and Family Services, Iowa Society of Crippled Children & Adults and the Easter Seals Society. For ten years, Shirlie conducted the Lucas County Easter Seals summer camp in Chariton. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Upon retirement, Shirlie moved to Des Moines. Shirlie was an elegant and independent woman, known for her love of fashion, interior decorating, and anything bright pink. However, her children and grandchildren were her greatest source of pleasure.

Shirlie was preceded in death by her parents Edward and Gladys (Brandt) Redetzke, and her husband Curt Yocom, Sr. She will be lovingly remembered by her two sons Curt, Jr. (Kate) and Brandt Yocom; grandchildren Madelyn, Blake, Tess, Taylor and Claire; and two great grandchildren, Adair and Veda.

To honor Shirlie's wishes, no services will be held and her body has been donated to Des Moines University.

Her family would like to thank the very caring staff at Fleur Heights Care Center and her friends at Mercy Park Apartments.

Any memorial contributions in Shirlie's name may be directed to the Chariton High School Library to purchase books in her memory.

Online condolences may be made at

Published in Des Moines Register from Dec. 11 to Dec. 16, 2012