Shirley Armstrong Dana

Shirley Armstrong Dana died on December 20, 2013 of kidney failure. She was 89. She is preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Newell; as well as her parents, Elmer Armstrong and Marian Armistead; her sisters Vivian Juhl and Winnie Brothers; and sisters-in-law, Barbara Friend and Phyllis Dana. Shirl was born on May 18, 1924. She grew up in Lake Stevens, WA where she attended high school. She graduated from Lake Stevens High as valedictorian of her class in 1942. She married Newell in 1944 during WWII, and in 1948, she and Newell were blessed with the birth of their first son, Tom, followed by Steve, Melody and Rick. Life was busy and active for the whole family and Shirl was the heart of the home. They lived in Madras, Oregon for a few years during which time she was a stay-at-home mom. When the family moved to Snohomish in 1960, she opened the Hub Drive-In and made it go with just Tom as her sidekick until Newell could close things up in Oregon and join the family. After a few years, she decided working alongside of Newell in the drive-in wasn't the formula for a happy marriage so she went back to work as a legal secretary, a profession she continued until she retired. Shirl was an amazing woman for her generation. When other women were reluctant to venture forth, Shirl was driving a Corvette from coast to coast, navigating Chicago downtown traffic with just 12-year old Rick as her companion. She learned to fly a plane just to show she could and she did great at it! She and Newell traveled extensively in the US, abroad and even up in a hot air balloon. Everyone who knew Shirl knew her to be a loving, caring person. She was funny and sweet and made everyone welcome. She was the quiet foil to Newell's larger than life. She was intensely loyal and always concerned about the well being of others. She loved music and one of her greatest pleasures was playing the organ. For sure, she had the music in her and we all loved to hear her play. She was the best mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend ever and we will all miss her very much. She is survived by all those children, Tom (Connie) Dana, Steve (Noreen) Dana, Melody Dana, and Rick Dana; granddaughter, Shelly Dana; and great grandsons, Stephen and Austin Crowe; as well as many other honorary family members and friends. We would like to thank the staff of Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett for their compassion during Shirl's last days, as well as the doctors and staff of Group Health's Everett clinic for their years of kindness and loving healthcare oversight. A memorial service will be held on January 11, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the Snohomish United Methodist Church, 2400 Lake Ave, Snohomish, WA 98290. In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances to the Everett Gospel Mission, PO Box 423, Everett, WA 98206.
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Published in The Herald (Everett) from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5, 2014