Shirley Westfall (1938 - 2015)

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Shirley Westfall
June 17, 1938 - February 1, 2015
Shirley Westfall, 76, of Nampa, passed away February 1, 2015, at a Boise care center surrounded by family.
Shirley led an interesting life full of passion, hard work, learning, service, strong opinions, spirituality, and adventure.
Her life began June 17, 1938, when she was born in Long Prairie, Minnesota, to Ruth and Bernard Kortuem. Shirley spent her early life on a farm in Minnesota and often shared fond memories of attending a one-room school house, roaming the woods and fields, and playing with her older brother Bill and younger brother Bobby. Her time in Minnesota ignited a lifelong love of simple natural beauty.
Her life changed dramatically at age 11 when the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Her parents enrolled her in St. Cecilia Academy. She learned the value of education and service to others during her time with the Dominican Sisters at the all-girls, college-preparatory Catholic school. When she graduated in 1955, she was awarded the Paladin Jewel for her work as president of the school's Catholic Students Mission Crusade.
During her senior year, she met the love of her life, Donald Westfall, who was on leave from the U.S. Air Force. They eloped and married on her 17th birthday in Corinth, Mississippi, beginning a nearly 20-year whirlwind adventure of a military couple raising children and traveling the world.
Don's assignments took them to Oregon, Michigan, New York, Maryland, Germany, Turkey, and Japan. When Don retired from military service in 1971, the couple and their six children - Donald Jr., Alex, Stephanie, Allison, Scott, and Valerie - settled in Idaho, first in Don's hometown of Cambridge and then Nampa, where she lived for 43 years.
In Nampa, Shirley learned to drive and entered the work force. She loved to work hard.
During the late '70s and early '80s, she worked for Birdseye and Carnation and enjoyed the seasonal layoffs and swing shifts of the food processing industry. She also was as a bank teller for Idaho First National at the downtown Nampa branch.
In 1984, she was at the J.R. Simplot Co.'s Caldwell potato processing plant. She worked for Simplot for nearly 20 years, advancing from light duty worker to production lead to laboratory technician. When she retired in April 2002, she was the Total Quality Management Facilitator in the lab.
Her husband retired in 1992. Shirley and Don spent her vacation and seasonal layoffs traveling the Pacific Northwest visiting the San Juan Islands, Mount St. Helens, the Oregon Coast, Glacier National Park, and Yellowstone in their camper. She also made trips to Nashville and Minnesota to visit family.
Don and Shirley celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2005. Don passed away four years later on January 14, 2009.
In August 1996, Mom began 18 years of service as a Hospice volunteer with West Valley Hospice, which later became St. Alphonsus Hospice. At the time of her death, she was the longest serving volunteer, having provided care to nearly 200 patients. Her experiences made her a tireless supporter and advocate for the rights of the terminally ill.
Shirley was an avid bridge player, learning the game as a young woman and returning to it in the late 1990s as she strived to help her mother-in-law reach Life Master status. Playing with Margaret, Shirley became an expert player. Shirley honed her knowledge and skills through studying books and magazines and playing online. She enjoyed and hated competitive bridge and played in several tournaments and in local clubs. During the past two years, she taught bridge through the Nampa Recreation Department. In October 2013, she traveled to Seaside, Oregon for a seminar with one of her bridge heroes.
Shirley had a wide range of hobbies and skills. She made clothes, Raggedy Ann dolls, and stick ponies for children and grandchildren. She crocheted afghans, curtains, doilies, and more. She authored poetry, letters to the editor, and a book about her life. She also was six-year resident of Yoville, a virtual world Facebook game, and was likely the only member of her peer group who could troubleshoot her home computer and network.
Throughout her life, Shirley sought to deepen her knowledge of the world and filled her home with books about Bridge, psychology, religion, spirituality, history, and more. She relished a good debate about the topics of the day. She loved libraries and joined The Friends of the Nampa Public Library to volunteer and to advocate for the construction of a new library for Nampa.
In retirement, she continued traveling. And this past year she made several trips, including a long dreamed of trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Mom was healthy and active for most of her life until November 2014 when she experienced difficulty walking. On January 23, she learned that her difficulty was not a symptom of "old age," but rather it was caused by cancer that had spread throughout her body. She passed away nine days later. The family thanks Dan Hughes, of Idaho Independent Bank, Fr. Jairo Restrepo, of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Nampa, and the staff at St. Alphonsus Medical Center, Nampa, and Life Care Center of Valley View for their compassionate support and care of our mother.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her two brothers, and a sister-in-law.
She is survived by her children: Don Jr., of Nampa; Alex, of Boise; Stephanie Sherlock and her husband Jack, of Boise; Allison Westfall, of Nampa; Scott Westfall and his wife Sharon, of Newcastle, Calif.; and Valerie Lunsford and her husband Andy, of Boise.
Her grandchildren: Lavonne, Crystal, and Melissa, their husbands and children; Shawn, Kim, Kevin, their spouses and children; Connie, Katie, Megan, their husbands and children; Erica, Megan, Lucky, Cody, and Zach, their spouses and children; Elizabeth, Samantha, Kasandra, Thomas, and Savannah, their spouses and children; and Grace.
Shirley valued and maintained relationships with her former sons- and daughters-in-law and important individuals in her children's lives, including Marie Grim, Belinda Wilson, Todd Dunnigan, David Johnson, and Cheryl Wedner.
She is survived by her Tennessee sister-in-law Wanda Abbott and her husband Skip, of Donelson, Tennessee, and her nephews: Bernie, Brian, Brad and their spouses and children. She is also survived by nieces and nephews: Susan, William, John, Mark, and Delores and her Idaho sister-in-law Marthlyn Johnson and her husband Laurence, of Boise and her nieces and nephews Steve and Janet; and nieces and nephews Kathleen, Patrick, Kerry, Kim, and Tim.
Per Mom's request, a memorial service will be held in late spring or early summer of 2015 at the Salubria Cemetery near Cambridge. Those wishing to honor her may contribute to the Friends of the Nampa Library or St. Alphonsus Hospice.

Funeral Home
Alsip & Persons Funeral Chapel
404 Tenth Avenue South
Nampa, ID 83651
(208) 466-3545
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Feb. 8, 2015