William Norman "Skip" Shirley entered the heavenly kingdom on Oct. 17, 2012, following a courageous 13-year battle with multiple myeloma. He died peacefully at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, surrounded by his wife and children.
Skip was born May 16, 1941, at Trinity Hospital in Minot, to Norman and Vesper (Batesole) Shirley. He graduated from Minot High School in 1959 and then graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1963 with a business degree.
Skip was united in marriage to Charlo Peterson in Minot at First Lutheran Church on Oct. 6, 1962. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Skip began his career in Fargo with Shirley-Onstad Incorporated. In his early career years, they lived in Grand Forks, Williston, and Bismarck, but spent the last 45 years in Fargo.
Skip enjoyed a long and successful career as a sales representative in the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, pump and well supply wholesale industry, traveling much and covering eastern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, and northern South Dakota. He enjoyed the business and camaraderie with his customers over the many years, and retired in May 2009. After time on the road, Skip's favorite part of each week was coming home and spending time with his family.
Throughout his lifetime, Skip enjoyed spending summer days at Lake Metigoshe near Bottineau. The lake was a special place for Skip, and he enjoyed sharing his love of Lake Metigoshe with others. Skip loved being a grandfather and found so much satisfaction in being "Pop Skip" to his granddaughters, Shelby Marie and Anna Marie. Being a grandpa brought wonderful joy to Skip.
He also enjoyed many dogs and cats as family pets over the years; he had a very soft place in his heart for these special companions. Skip was a regular at area auctions and estate sales and loved searching for and collecting older items especially collectibles related to old cars and railroad memorabilia. Skip loved traveling on numerous occasions to Arizona for many years, along with special trips to Alaska and the Hudson Bay, where he fulfilled a goal of seeing polar bears. He enjoyed his Tuesday morning Men's Bible Study Group at First Lutheran Church along with the fellowship of his entire church family. Skip also liked to follow UND hockey for many years and late in life was a fan of VCSU Viking athletics.
Skip battled and survived a difficult cancer prognosis far longer than he was ever expected, and so much of that was due to his strong faith and positive attitude. Through it all, he maintained his great sense of humor, and was always more concerned about the well-being of others.
Skip and his entire family are eternally grateful to all of the doctors and nurses at the Roger Maris Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic.
Skip was very proud of his three children, and is survived by: his wife of 50 years, Charlo; three children, Deb Shirley (Glenn Lyden), of Rochester, Minn., Chris (Paul) Brendemuhl, of rural Glyndon, Minn., and Steven (Jennifer) Shirley, of Valley City, along with two granddaughters, Shelby and Anna, and three stepgrandchildren; a sister, Mary (Tom) Issendorf, of Newburg; sister-in-law, Roxanne (Bruce) Bergo, of Moorhead, Minn.; and three nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Steven.
Visitation: Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, from 6 to 7 p.m.. with a prayer service Sunday at 7 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, Fargo.
Funeral: Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, 11 a.m., at First Lutheran Church, Fargo.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church 2020 Club, the Roger Maris Cancer Center, or the Humane Society Fargo-Moorhead.
Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home of Fargo is handling the arrangements. Friends may sign the guestbook at (hansonrunsvold.com).