Shirley Ella (Seward) Dunn 94, of Ellendale, ND passed away Saturday morning, Nov. 23, 2019 at her home in Ellendale, ND.
The funeral service was Friday, November 29, at Church of the Nazarene, Ellendale with Pastor Kelly Riggan officiating. Burial was at Ellendale City Cemetery. Arrangements were made by Hoven Funeral Chapel, Ellendale.
She was born Aug 28, 1925 to Harvey Jacob and Esther E. (Schreiber) Seward of Agar, SD. She attended Agar public schools and graduated in 1943. Following high school graduation, Shirley attended Northern State Teachers College and went on to teach in Sully County, SD. She later worked for a short time as S.D. Governor Sharpe’s secretary, and then went to work for the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. She met her husband, Lauren Dunn, there at the university’s Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Group. Shirley and Lauren were married March 25, 1951 in Agar. After Lauren (Dr. “Doc” Dunn) received his degree in Veterinary Medicine at the U of M, they moved with their first two children to Sidney, MT where he joined a veterinarian practice. After they had two more children the family moved to Ellendale in 1958, and set up the Ellendale Animal Hospital. They completed their family with three more children in Ellendale. Shirley stayed home with her children until the youngest was preschool age. She then finished her business degree at UND - EB and went to work fulltime at the local abstract office. Shirley was a busy lady. In spite of having seven children, working full time, and having many hobbies and interests, her house was always tidy. Shirley was quiet and reserved. But those who knew her well enjoyed her hospitable spirit and sharp, mischievous wit. She was an avid reader her whole life and possessed a great command of the English language. This motivated her to serve on the Ellendale city library board. Shirley was highly creative. She took evening art classes and used that skill to decorate household items. She both built and refinished furniture, sewed clothes, and made quilts and rugs out of denim scraps. She also used her creative skills to enhance the beauty of her home by painting, wallpapering and decorating it herself. Shirley was a Den mother, a Girl Scout leader and could usually be found stalking asparagus across the countryside every spring. After the children started getting older, Shirley bought a piece of land at Pheasant Lake and had a cabin built on it for the family to enjoy and for herself to escape to once in awhile. The family enjoyed many barbeques and 4th of July fireworks out there and even one wedding. A short story…One day when Shirley was 13 years old, she and her younger brother James were out and about the farm and James was learning to use his new rifle. Shirley, never having fired a gun before, took a turn with it and with her first shot downed a pheasant in flight, hitting it squarely in the neck. Having proven her skill, she never fired another gun for the rest of her life…a perfect record! During the last 12 years of her life Shirley battled multiple myeloma. She was very strong through it and led a normal life, though due to her hearing loss, eventually it became more difficult to enjoy the polka music she was so fond of, and as her eyes grew worse she was unable to watch TV, read well or do the crossword puzzles. Red River Valley Hospice and various caregivers helped Shirley live a more full life over the past two years, and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their care of her and the joy they brought her. As the dementia set in, She never lost her wonderful sense of humor.
Shirley is survived by her children: Cecile, Tom, Laurie, Tim, Terrell, Barry, and Alysen, one brother, James Seward, eight grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, sister, Zona LaRosh, and brother, Sherman Seward.