Shirley Elaine (Nelson) Heebink was born May 20, 1923 in Menomonie, WI, and died May 7, 2021. She graduated from Eau Claire High School and Stout Institute. In 1944 she married Robert C. Heebink. They settled in Baldwin, WI and enjoyed a full life together, raising children and delighting in grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Over the years, there were many memorable family gatherings at their homes in Baldwin, WI, Cornucopia, WI and Yalaha, FL. They traveled a great deal throughout the world, including three family cruises to Alaska. She was Robert’s faithful boating companion. Robert died in 2011.
Shirley is remembered as a great spiritual example, praying with the family and reading her Bible every morning and night. She was gracious and tender-hearted, living out her Christian faith in daily life. She was a master weaver, creating fine linens, wall hangings and rugs. She did advanced study in weaving in Norway. Her grandchildren especially remember her time with them in the kitchen, making lefse, baking cookies and tea cakes. Shirley was an avid reader and book gifter; her love of reading was passed to each generation, as they treasure books she has gifted them.
Shirley did not neglect the little things: the beauty of birds at her feeders, concretions to be found on the shore, the brilliance of the Northern Lights, and several adorable miniature Schnauzers who looked to her for generous treats.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Alfred & Elizabeth (Barta) Nelson, husband Robert, and siblings Richard and Carleton. She is survived by her children: Michael (Mary), Joy, and Jerome (Elaine). Grandchildren: Maria (Scott) Fortier, Stephen (Sarah) Heebink, Kari (Chris) Heebink, Amanda (Nate) Lentz, Sarah Heebink, and Andrew (Danielle) Heebink. Great Grandchildren: Jeremy Fortier, Jonathan Fortier, Ayla Lentz, and Gia Lentz.
A private family service has been held in gratitude for her life. Memorials in Shirley’s honor may be sent to Samaritan’s Purse or the charity of your choice. Funeral and cremation services have been entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Countryside Crematory of Baldwin.