Shirley Gay Palmer (née Koogler) Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" ~Shirley's motto Shirley left us on May 31, 2011, living life to its fullest, doing what she loved on a rafting trip in Utah. She was 73 years old. A proud wife, mother, grandmother and friend, she was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1938. She graduated from the University of Dubuque in 1960. She has lived in Tucson since 1971. A role model to many, she was an avid hiker, walker, climber, skier, river runner, traveler, genealogist, reader, knitter and photographer. In the 1980s she was involved with the Southern Arizona Search and Rescue Association and the Mt. Lemmon Ski Patrol. She was also an accomplished sailor and keen competitor in women's sailboat racing. She was membership chairman for the North American Hobie Class Association for ten years, and also served as Commodore of Tucson Hobie Fleet #514. Shirley is loved and survived by her husband of 48 years, Ron Palmer; brothers, James R. Koogler (Virginia) in Roseburg, Oregon and Paul R. Koogler (Lamae) in San Antonio, Texas; daughters, Karen Sue Palmer (granddaughters, Marcia and Autumn) and Kristen Lynn Candito (Craig) (grandchildren, Tyler and Alexandra), all of whom reside in Tucson, Arizona. She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Paul R. Koogler and Violet Ruth Koogler (née Keller). A celebration of Shirley's extraordinary life will be held at Tanque Verde Lutheran Church, 8625 East Tanque Verde Road on Saturday, June 11, 2011, 1:00 p.m. Services will be given by longtime family friend, Pastor Bob Allen. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Susan G Komen Foundation in honor of Shirley, who was a breast cancer survivor. Donations may be made online: www.komensaz.org or sent to 4574 E. Broadway Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85711. Arrangements by SPANISH VALLEY MORTUARY.
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Published in the Arizona Daily Star on June 5, 2011