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Shirley Irene Hess

1929 - 2018
Jan. 26, 1929 ~ Oct. 22, 2018Shirley was born in Sioux City, Iowa to Edna Odetta Moore Farrington Johnson of Kalispell, MT and Ernest Abbott Johnson of Centerville, SD. She grew up in Sioux City and then went on to graduate from the University of South Dakota in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with minors in French and History. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority at USD. She then started her long career in education by teaching English and Algebra at Canistota High School, in Canistota, SD. After two years of teaching, Shirley switched gears to see a little more of the world. She took a position as a stewardess for Braniff International Airways and made numerous trips to Havana, Cuba. Shirley met Charlie and on Aug. 21, 1954. Shirley Johnson married Charles Arthur Hess, also a teacher and coach, from Stark, KS. They first lived in Sioux City and Shirley resumed teaching at Hinton High School. In 1957, Shirley and Charlie moved to Southern California. Her teaching continued at Lathrop Junior High School. Shirley and Charlie raised three children; John Charles, James Bradley and Lisa Ann. The Hess family bounced around Southern California; Santa Ana, Orange, Laguna Beach, Palm Springs and finally Lake Forest. Shirley kept close to her dearest friends, some for more than 60 years from her early days of teaching in Orange County. Shirley was a founder and charter member of the Pi Beta Phi Orange County Alumnae Club and President of the Orange County Panhellenic. She has been a member of Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in Lake Forest since 1976, and for a time served as the Sunday School Department Head there. She spent countless hours tutoring English and helping families through the church. Shirley served as the original Registrar at Christ College in Irvine, now Concordia University, from 1979 until her retirement on June 30th, 1994. She thrived in her final educational assignment making many lifelong friends along the way. Shirley and Charles moved to the Groves in Irvine, CA in 1997. There, they enjoyed retired life, continued friendships with many from days gone by and cultivated new friendships. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Charles and her brother, Bruce R Johnson of Boulder CO. Shirley is survived by her children, John (Jill), Brad, Lisa Lorusso (Nick); daughter-in-law, Danette Hess; her grandchildren, Nikole, James, Cody, Lauren, Austin, Luciano and Marco; and great-grandchildren, Brooklynn and Allyson. Ken Weigel, Shirley's very dear friend was there for the last dance. A Remembrance for Shirley will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10th, 2018 at 2pm at the Groves, 5200 Irvine Blvd. Irvine, CA. Non-Groves residents should contact John Hess at (907)244-9867, woodski49@gmail.com to assure entry to the Groves.

Published in Orange County Register from Nov. 1 to Nov. 6, 2018
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