Shirley Lois Schiesser
Shirley Lois Schiesser died of pneumonia on Dec. 18, 2005, in the Hearts R Us home in Tucson, Ariz.Shirley was born on July 7, 1935, to William and Bessie (Van Lewen) Jorgensen in Chicago. She was the third of three children and spent her childhood in Chicago, where she graduated from Schurz High School in 1953. She married Carl Lawrence Schiesser on Nov. 6, 1954. They settled in Antioch, Ill., where they started I & W Masonry and their family. Four of their five children were born here. The family moved to Boulder in 1966, where their fifth child was born. In 1968, they settled in Glenwood Springs. She and Carl started Glenwood Masonry and later Permanent Builders. Shirley worked at Sunlight Ski Area in the retail store for several years and was promoted to assistant to the first full-time manager of Sunlight Ski Area. She eventually went back to the construction world and ran Permanent Builders until she retired in 2000. Shirley loved Glenwood and was active in the community all of her life. She volunteered with the Ski Club, Defiance Players, 4-H, the Crisis Center and the First United Methodist Church. She served on the board of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and was intricately involved in developing many different areas of Strawberry Days. She was instrumental in getting the pedestrian area built under the Grand Avenue Bridge and was an active member of the Rotary Club of Glenwood Springs. Shirley was elected to the office of trustee for the Colorado Masonry Contractors Association. She was also the first woman ever elected to the regional vice president office for the Masonry Contractors Association of America. Shirley was the first woman to receive the Athena Award in Garfield County. She was elected to Glenwood City Council in 1991 and served four years. Shirley served on the Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement Board from 1994-2001, as well as on Planning and Zoning for 1994 and 1995.Shirley also served as a lay speaker with the First United Methodist Church in Glenwood and conducted many Sunday services in the area as well. Shirley and Carl moved to Tucson, Ariz., in 2002. Carl had the retaining wall in front of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association rebuilt in 2005 in Shirley’s honor. Shirley spent the last year and nine months in a private home for Alzheimer’s patients.Shirley is survived by her husband of 51 years, Carl Schiesser, of Tucson; sons Dale (Sheila) Schiesser, of New Castle, and Rex (Susan) Schiesser, of Steamboat Springs; daughters Karen (John) Briner, of Telluride and Skagway, Alaska; Terry (Lawrence “T”) Lewis, of New Castle, and Dawn Schiesser, of Steamboat Springs; grandchildren Bradly Mortensen, Parker Mortensen and Ellie Schiesser; and brother Richard Jorgensen of Antioch, Illinois.A memorial service is scheduled for 11a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006, at the First United Methodist Church, 824 Cooper Ave., Glenwood Springs, with the Rev. Bob Sewell officiating.In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 7, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602, for a memorial fund in Shirley’s honor.
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