Shirley Ann Kathleen Kuykendall 1943 - 2024

Shirley Ann Kathleen Kuykendall, of Dallas, Oregon, passed away peacefully February 24, 2024, in Salem, Oregon, at Salem Hospital. Shirley was born  March 5, 1943, in Gladwin, Michigan, the daughter of John and Frieda Kroeker.

She graduated from Marshfield High School in 1961 in Marshfield, Missouri. Fred and Shirley met in Oregon and were married in October 1962. They celebrated 60 years of marriage and also shared the same birthday, four years apart.

Shirley worked and retired from the Itemizer Observer after 25 years. She was a highly valued employee of the newspaper. She was head of creating and building the pages and took pride in what she did. If someone wanted to learn, Shirley was willing to teach them as long as they were earnest and followed through to the end. She was giving, honest, and sincere toward others in the work environment.

Shirley then went to work for the Polk County Assessor's office for 12 years. She was the first person to answer the phone. Either in person or by phone, she was responsible for providing accurate information on real or personal property. She was knowledgeable and very courteous to all. Because of that, over the years she was the recipient of several letters of commendation from the public that she assisted.

Shirley loved traveling with her husband, Fred. They explored all 50 states together and visited many relatives along the way. She loved spending time playing pinochle, Five Crowns, and dominoes with friends and family. Family was very important to Shirley. Her pride and joy was spending time with Kyle and Josh, filling them up with ice cream and popcorn on Sundays while Mom and Dad were at church during their early years; watching their sporting events in later years; and trips to Hawaii for their graduation gift. Shirley also enjoyed Rhyan and Stevie, her great-granddaughters, with trips to the park and pushing them on the swings. A trip to Switzerland with her family was also a highlight. Her family greatly benefited in many ways from Shirley's generosity.

Shirley loved to go on walks with her trusty companion, Lucas, down on the river trail, through the park and neighborhoods. Many hours were spent visiting with people she would meet along the way. She often grew a garden in the summer and would share her vegetables with the neighborhood. She will be missed by her friends, neighbors, and family.

Shirley was an anatomical donor and continued to give of herself even after her passing.

Shirley is survived by her husband, Fred of Dallas; daughter, Chris Schmidt and husband Neil of Dallas; sister, Marguerite Johnston and husband Billy of Missouri; grandson, Kyle Schmidt and wife Deaven of Salem; grandson, Josh Schmidt of Dallas; and great-granddaughters, Rhyan Claire and Stevie Lou. Shirley was preceded in death by her brother, Harvey Kroeker; and parents, John and Frieda Kroeker.

Celebration of Shirley's life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 8, at Faith Free Church, 2290 E. Ellendale, Dallas Oregon 97338

Memorial donations may be made to Union Gospel Mission of Salem, Oregon.


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