Shirley Rainsford Rische

  • "Carol, Sorry to hear of your mothers' passing. Hope all is..."
  • "Sunset and evening star And one clear call for me! And..."
    - Jennifer Callen
  • "Sending my sincere condolences to the friends and family...."
  • "We met Shirley at Baywood. She then told us the wonderful..."

Shirley Rainsford Rische Shirley set sail for heaven on May 21, 2014her final port of call. Her favorite place in the world was being near the ocean or watching it pass by on a Crystal Cruise ship. She always said she was drawn to the sea. Born in England Feb 27, 1934 under austere circumstances, she never dreamed she would sail all five oceans with the Antarctic being here favorite destination. As a young girl her home was bombed in WWII. She and her mother were relocated to the English countryside of Shakespeare and James Herriot where she excelled in school, sailing, and sports (a woman before her time). Shirley's first ocean voyage was in 1957 when she set sail for Canada to begin her first adult-life adventure. After one winter and one summer in Toronto, Canada she had had enough. She answered an ad and got a job as a secretary at the Bermudiana Hotel. There she met Julius Rische also working at the Burmudiana as a chef. In 1959, they married on Christmas Eve because they both had the next day off. The couple came to the United States two years later with a Volkswagen Beetle filled with their possessions, a small bit of cash Shirley had saved, and their first child on the way. They settled in San Bruno, CA. where they raised their children. Shirley and Julius' goal as parents was to raise their daughters, Carol and Diana, with every opportunity for a better life. Once their daughters completed college Shirley and Julius set sail cruising all over the world. After Julius passed away in 1998, Shirley moved to Mckinleyville in 2000. As a recent widow, she had no idea the next years would be among the best of her life. She immensely enjoyed her membership at Baywood Golf and Country Club, her women's bridge group, and the performing arts. She made many wonderful friends through these activities. Her closest friends Birgitta, Barbara and Bev will especially miss her. She also continued to go on cruises with cruise friends she made over the years, as well as with her daughters. During Shirley's last few months, she was superbly cared for by the "Fab Four" Becky, Camille, Dot, and Nancy. St. Joseph Home Health Services and Hospice of Humboldt provided the entire family with excellent and compassionate support. The family will be forever grateful for the heartfelt care they all provided! In addition to her daughters, Carol Rische and Diana Sturla, Shirley leaves behind beloved family members; grandchildren, Jayna and Brian Haas; son-in-law Al Sturla; daughter-in-law, Sue MacConnie; and cousin Barbara Karagosian. Bon-voyage Shirley from all who loved you. You completed your final journey with a grace and dignity that inspired us all! As you said early in your journey "Don't worry, be happy!" A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 7th from, 3:00 5:00 pm with a formal sharing at 3:30 pm. For those unable to make it on Saturday, an open house will be held on Friday, June 6th from 4:00 6:00 pm. Location will be shared by family and friends. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to Hospice of Humboldt. Please sign the guestbook at and click on obituaries.
Published in Eureka Times-Standard from May 28 to June 1, 2014
Shirley Anne Rische
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Paul's Chapel
1070 H Street | Arcata, CA 95521 | (707) 822-2445
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