Shirley Walker 12/24/1925 - 11/11/2012 Shirley Walker passed away peacefully at home with her family by her side on November 11, 2012. She was born on Christmas Eve, 1925 to Charles and Florence Sweet. She grew up in Eureka and lived most of her life in Humboldt County. Shirley graduated from Eureka High and went on to earn her teaching credential from Humboldt State University. Following her graduation from Humboldt in 1946, she began her teaching career as a PE Instructor in Modesto. She married her husband, Francis on Dec. 20, 1947. They would have been married for 65 years this year. They returned to Humboldt Co., where she lived in Eureka, Fortuna, and Ferndale eventually settling on the Walker family ranch at Grizzley Bluff. Shirley and Fran bought their first home in Fortuna where they lived for 17 years. She taught 7th and 8th grade at Toddy Thomas School for those years, retiring in 1976. Upon retiring, Shirley and Fran built their dream home with extensive gardens on the ranch. Shirley loved to garden and became very involved with the Ferndale Garden Club becoming a lifetime member. In 1985 she was named Humboldt County Gardner of the Year. She also became the Humboldt County District Director of the California Garden Clubs. She most definitely had a green thumb and will be remembered by the wonderful gardens she left behind. She and Fran also built a family summer home at Ruth Lake where they divided their time. Shirley loved her life, her family, her home, her place at Ruth, and her endless succession of pets. She found joy daily in simple things; a wildflower, a bird, a cloud formation. She loved to travel, and she and Fran visited many countries throughout the world. She was also an avid Giants and 49ers fan and was able to attend many games to cheer her teams on. She had a wonderful sense of humor much to the delight of her grandchildren who have many "G" stories to remember and share. Her most admirable attribute though was her love and acceptance of everyone she met. She delighted in meeting people and loved to hear their stories. Shirley is survived by her husband Fran and her three children; daughters, Terri Shunk and husband Frank, Patty Buccola and husband Joe, and son Robert Walker and wife Karen. She is also survived by 9 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. She will be greatly missed by her dog and constant companion, Belle and also her friend and caregiver Kathalene Resendez. She is preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Charles and Raymond Sweet, and her nephews Andrew and Scott Sweet. There will be a Rosary for Shirley at the Assumption Church, 546 Berding St, Ferndale, Ca. on Monday, November 19th at 7pm. There will be a mass on Tuesday, November 20 at 11am also at the Assumption Church. The following graveside service will be private for family only. There will be a memorial and celebration of Shirley's life in Ferndale to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ferndale Garden Club, c/o Bette Koch, P.O. Box 1014, Ferndale, CA 95536. Please sign the guestbook at www.times-standard.com and click on obits.
Published in Eureka Times-Standard from November 16 to November 18, 2012