Shirley Ann (Major) Bauhof passed away Oct. 18, 2013. Shirley was a sweet, beautiful, classy, talented, tenacious and gifted woman with many hobbies. She had a quiet intensity and great sense of humor. She loved to bargain shop, garden, pick strawberries, cook and be with her family. She made a simple and relaxing home filled with healthy cooking, gardens filled with beautiful flowers and lives filled with her love. She had the uncanny ability to know the needs of her children and husband and notice when they got too busy in life. She practiced a lifestyle of simplicity. Shirley often told her husband, "Don't sweat the small stuff." Shirley taught her children to do what is right, respect people and show compassion to others, especially those among the "least of these" (Matthew 25:40).
Shirley loved to sing songs to Jesus. At a young age, she learned to sing in the Eskimo language from her grandma, Jessie. Shirley is the oldest of eight siblings. She always looked forward to special times with her family from Alaska and Colorado and treasured them deeply in her heart.
She had unconditional love for her family, and a very special place in her heart for her three grandkids. Her grandkids showed a lot of love for their grandma. They visited her often at Rockhill Mennonite Nursing Home, many times playing musical instruments and singing to her. They went on walks together and sometimes fought over who would push their grandma in her wheelchair. The grandkids enjoyed taking her out to the lovely gift shop, taking time to choose which "penny" candies to buy that day.
Shirley was a dear wife and best friend of Ken. This past summer, they threw a large elegant party to celebrate 50 years of marriage. At this party, memories were shared. Shirley was born in Nome (on the Bering Sea) on Aug. 10, 1945, and later moved to Fairbanks. She excelled in the Fairbanks schools and, upon graduating as top commercial student of her class, received an outstanding award in office practices/business administration while donning her engagement ring accepted at age 17.
Attending Denali Bible Chapel in Fairbanks at 15, Shirley met Ken Bauhof, 19, on the evening of June 25, 1961. Ken had driven to Alaska from Philadelphia on a whim and had just arrived in Fairbanks a couple hours earlier. He was in love with Shirley at first sight. They married on Aug. 31, 1963. Ken and Shirley started a new adventure, moving in 1966 to Pennsylvania, which became their permanent residence, except for one year of their service in 1971 at North Star Bible Camp at Hatcher Pass.
Together, they share one of the greatest love stories of all time upon which a novel should be written, a story of undying love in the brokenness of life, the kind of love Christ has for all.
Throughout the years, they shared a hobby: gardening. They spent many hours leisurely tending their gardens together. Another shared joy is their adoration for Alaska. They traveled there periodically with their daughters, and Shirley oftentimes extended her stay with family.
Shirley was a wonderful friend to many and worked hard to maintain relationships in authentic community. Her closest friends were her "Steel Magnolias." These women ventured out to Rice's Market, bible studies, garage sales and restaurants together. In recent years, she and her nursing home roommate, Anna, enjoyed watching cooking shows. Shirley would always light up when people visited with her.
Shirley overcame the odds in so many ways, marching to the beat of her own drum. Words cannot attempt to describe the wonderful example she was and continues to be to those around her. Shirley was selfless in so many ways, a brave woman, full of courage, strength and perseverance. She was faithful in helping others. Shirley is an amazing creation of God. She has run and finished the race.
Most importantly, Shirley taught her children and others what the love of Jesus looks like, how to suffer well and that life is more than rules or trying to be the hero. It's all about God and his unfailing, never-ending love for us, and "... while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
"No one's ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it - What God has arranged for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9.
On behalf of Shirley, her family is most thankful to the Rockhill Mennonite Community staff who lovingly took care of her as faithful Christ-like servants and friends; your care was excellent. Gratitude goes to friends, companions and caregivers who journeyed into Shirley's story, taking the long walk side-by-side together. Shirley's family is grateful to the following people for all your priceless love: Shirley's family in Alaska and Colorado, growing up and in the present; her mother, Martha Major, who brought Shirley into the world and brought Shirley's sisters to visit frequently during these recent years; your love is amazing; and Shirley's father, William (Bill) L. Major, who supported Ken and Shirley in any endeavor they chose. To all of you: Her family couldn't have done it without you.
Shirley Anne Bauhof was preceded in death by her father, William (Bill) L. Major.
To sovereign God: You held Shirley in your hands and gave her life to the full. You dreamt up a beautiful creation when you made Shirley. You have seen her through.
Condolences may be sent to Ken Bauhof, 129 Tedwill Drive, Fountainville, Pa. 18923 and/or Martha Major at 2761 Old Chena Ridge Road, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in honor of Shirley for a memorial fund to Living Hope Community Church, 106 South Main Street, Dublin, Pa. 18917.
Arrangements are by Anders-Detweiler Funeral Home & Crematory, 130 East Broad Street, Souderton, Pa. 18964.
To send online condolences to the family, visit www.andersfh.com.