ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Estelle Shirley, 88 years old, born on August 16, 1930, and passed away on April 6, 2019. We will remember her forever.
Posted by Colleen Halloran Riley on July 29, 2019
Marie, Tom, Pam, Patty, Paul, John,
I'm so sad to hear of your Mother passing on to the next life. I know you will miss her but I will also.  Our families frequently celebrated picnics at "the cabin" and some wintertime meals at my family home as my Mother loved to cook Holiday meals especially after her sister died.  I looked up to this charming, popular cousin Estelle when she was in high school and I was a lowly eighth grader. She and Helene both settled in the Phoenix area before my arrival in 2002 and we got together about every three months over the years, frequently having lunch at a restaurant especially when Royann made her annual visit. I appreciated that she sometimes included me in your family get togethers. May her soul rest in peace.
Posted by Thomas Shirley on May 1, 2019
Obituary for Estelle Marie (Kennelly) Shirley

Estelle Marie (Kennelly) Shirley was born on August 16, 1930 in Bismarck, ND to parents Roy and Helen (Breen) Kennelly. She had a charmed youth shared with siblings Royann, Breen and Helene. Estelle played the marimba at various events, including halftime entertainment at high school ball games. She went to Saint Catherine University in St. Paul, MN earning a degree in dietetics.
As a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding, Estelle met and fell in love with Don, one of the groomsmen. In 1954 she married Donald Jerome Shirley from Arnegard, ND, where they resided for the next eight years. Estelle and her husband owned the general store, above which they lived in a modest apartment. Estelle’s first four children, Marie, Tom, Pamela and Patricia were born in Arnegard.
In 1962 they moved to Great Falls where they opened a gift shop, The Curiosity Shop, in the Holiday Village Mall. Estelle and Don were blessed with two more children in Great Falls, Paul and John. Estelle’s husband died of cancer at the young age of 50 in 1975. Estelle continued on with running the store and raising her family like a superhero. Her sons Tom and John were a tremendous help with the store.
Estelle loved nature and the outdoors, and she was an avid birder. In earlier years Estelle loved traveling and playing tennis. In retirement she discovered a talent for painting in a decorative style on wooden objects. She also enjoyed playing Rummikub, working jigsaw puzzles and reading.
In 1992 Estelle moved to Chandler, AZ where she actively enjoyed living in Sun Bird, a retirement community. In 2018 she made her final move to The Garnet in Casa Grande, AZ to be near her twins, Patti and Pam. After taking a fall, Estelle passed away on April 6th, 2019, at the age of 88.
Estelle’s world revolved around her six children and their families. She led an exemplary Christian life and will always be remembered for her kindness and humility. She is now reunited in death with her husband, siblings and parents. Estelle is survived by her six children, eleven grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Colleen Halloran Riley on July 29, 2019
Marie, Tom, Pam, Patty, Paul, John,
I'm so sad to hear of your Mother passing on to the next life. I know you will miss her but I will also.  Our families frequently celebrated picnics at "the cabin" and some wintertime meals at my family home as my Mother loved to cook Holiday meals especially after her sister died.  I looked up to this charming, popular cousin Estelle when she was in high school and I was a lowly eighth grader. She and Helene both settled in the Phoenix area before my arrival in 2002 and we got together about every three months over the years, frequently having lunch at a restaurant especially when Royann made her annual visit. I appreciated that she sometimes included me in your family get togethers. May her soul rest in peace.
Posted by Thomas Shirley on May 1, 2019
Obituary for Estelle Marie (Kennelly) Shirley

Estelle Marie (Kennelly) Shirley was born on August 16, 1930 in Bismarck, ND to parents Roy and Helen (Breen) Kennelly. She had a charmed youth shared with siblings Royann, Breen and Helene. Estelle played the marimba at various events, including halftime entertainment at high school ball games. She went to Saint Catherine University in St. Paul, MN earning a degree in dietetics.
As a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding, Estelle met and fell in love with Don, one of the groomsmen. In 1954 she married Donald Jerome Shirley from Arnegard, ND, where they resided for the next eight years. Estelle and her husband owned the general store, above which they lived in a modest apartment. Estelle’s first four children, Marie, Tom, Pamela and Patricia were born in Arnegard.
In 1962 they moved to Great Falls where they opened a gift shop, The Curiosity Shop, in the Holiday Village Mall. Estelle and Don were blessed with two more children in Great Falls, Paul and John. Estelle’s husband died of cancer at the young age of 50 in 1975. Estelle continued on with running the store and raising her family like a superhero. Her sons Tom and John were a tremendous help with the store.
Estelle loved nature and the outdoors, and she was an avid birder. In earlier years Estelle loved traveling and playing tennis. In retirement she discovered a talent for painting in a decorative style on wooden objects. She also enjoyed playing Rummikub, working jigsaw puzzles and reading.
In 1992 Estelle moved to Chandler, AZ where she actively enjoyed living in Sun Bird, a retirement community. In 2018 she made her final move to The Garnet in Casa Grande, AZ to be near her twins, Patti and Pam. After taking a fall, Estelle passed away on April 6th, 2019, at the age of 88.
Estelle’s world revolved around her six children and their families. She led an exemplary Christian life and will always be remembered for her kindness and humility. She is now reunited in death with her husband, siblings and parents. Estelle is survived by her six children, eleven grandchildren and one great-grandson.
her Life

Estelle's (mom's) story - by Marie Jones

My mom and dad’s married life started in the small town of Arnegard, North Dakota. They owned the general store and lived in the apartment above it.The store had groceries, hardware, drug store items, clothing, shoes (I remember an area of rubber boots like the farmers wore) and lumber. Besides this there was a counter with a window that you could step up to do your banking. When the produce got to be past its prime dad would bring it upstairs for our meals. There was a big metal bin in the back where we burned all of our garbage. Bums would sit on the edge of it to keep warm. One time one of them fell in and died. There was a fire in the building next to us one time and the whole town came out to help us move everything out of the store and the upstairs apartment into the street.Our cat had kittens at the time, and I still remember her with her kittens in a box out in the street with all that going on around her. The store survived.

Mom had many memories of their time in Arnegard. Mom never felt like she could bake as well as the local Norwegian women. She took her homemade donuts to a bake sale one time and she saw the ladies sneak them off the table as mom went out the door. Mom grew up Catholic and dad became Catholic so they could be married. The only church in Arnegard was Lutheran and so mom and dad drove to Watford City every Sunday for mass. When mom only had me she told dad she’d like to make a quilt, as she had the time. Dad told her she couldn’t because they didn’t have enough money to buy the fabric. Many of the farmers would buy all of what they needed for the year at their general store. But, they charged it and often could never pay dad back.

After seven years in Arnegard, the family with four children moved to Great Falls, Montana.Dad would now work for his brother-in-law, George Smith, at the One Stop Super as a butcher. Dad would bring home whatever food mom asked for, so she never went and bought groceries.

Mom had a chart on our refrigerator relegating weekly chores. We all had to make our own bed daily and if we failed to do so, we had to do dinner dishes for who’s ever turn it was that night. It went very well. We ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Besides having them for breakfast and lunch, we usually had them for our after school snack. We were bringing so many kids home for after school snack that she made a new rule. We could each only invite two friends for snack. Well, with six of us, that could be 18 kids! No wonder my friend, Kathy, asked why our floor was always sticky!

Mom made birthdays very special. The twins and I have birthdays two days in a row so every year mom would bake 6 birthday cakes for those two days. We each had one to share with the family and one for our party, which once we were school age would be a slumber party. The party cake would be in the shape of a treasure chest or something fun. When I got to college, my mom sent me a big box on my birthday with everything needed to celebrate, including an angel food cake, a topping, balloons, etc.

Mom let me have every pet imaginable, even though things often didn’t go well. She was tolerant through it all even when we’d lose a hamster down a heat vent so we’d have to have the windows open in the dead of winter in that room until it dried out and quit stinking. Whoever slept in that room had to sleep elsewhere for quite some time. Oh, and then when I had a goat in the back of the station wagon and it stuck its horns up through the upholstery on the roof.Or when my St. Bernard broke the window in the front door with her wagging tail. I don’t remember mom being upset over anything!

Mom and dad had an exciting opportunity to start a store in the new Holiday Village mall in Great Falls. It was called the Curiosity Shop. Mom was very busy with all of us at home, and dad worked most days from 9 to 9. I guess on Sundays it was noon to 5. We had a wonderful life on 4th Avenue North, which included many friends to play with. We invented a game called Guards where we would do flips off the railing on the front porch.Mom was always supportive in all of our creative fun. Mom taught me to sew on the machine and taught me to embroider, two things that I still love doing. Mom made sure we had dessert at every meal, so we had many opportunities in the kitchen.

Mom had a degree in dietetics from St. Catherine University. She wanted to major in home economics, but a nun in the program made her so miserable she switched fields. She worked as a dietitian briefly, but it made life at home not go as smoothly so she quit that.

When dad died mom had to take care of home and the store in the mall. My brother, Tom, would’ve gone to college that year, but he stayed home to help mom. She was incredible as she coped with the situation, especially since she had not ever done anything in the business world and she didn’t get any time to mourn dad’s passing.

Mom had a house build on the Missouri River where she loved being closer to nature. She never tired of watching the river, the birds and other wildlife. Then, later, she moved to Chandler, Arizona where she lived in Sunbird, a retirement community. There she enjoyed bird watching, tennis, traveling, playing Rummikub, and learning how to do rosemaling, a decorative style of painting. Her last year was spent near her twins in Casa Grande where she lived at an assisted living facility, The Garnet.

We’ve never had a family argument or bad feeling amongst us. I don’t know how mom did it, but by her example we’ve always gotten along.

Marie Shirley Jones, Estelle’s oldest daughter,May 5th, 2019

Recent stories

Estelle's (mom's) story - by Marie Jones

Shared by Thomas Shirley on May 8, 2019

My mom and dad’s married life started in the small town of Arnegard, North Dakota. They owned the general store and lived in the apartment above it.The store had groceries, hardware, drug store items, clothing, shoes (I remember an area of rubber boots like the farmers wore) and lumber. Besides this there was a counter with a window that you could step up to do your banking. When the produce got to be past its prime dad would bring it upstairs for our meals. There was a big metal bin in the back where we burned all of our garbage. Bums would sit on the edge of it to keep warm. One time one of them fell in and died. There was a fire in the building next to us one time and the whole town came out to help us move everything out of the store and the upstairs apartment into the street.Our cat had kittens at the time, and I still remember her with her kittens in a box out in the street with all that going on around her. The store survived.

Mom had many memories of their time in Arnegard. Mom never felt like she could bake as well as the local Norwegian women. She took her homemade donuts to a bake sale one time and she saw the ladies sneak them off the table as mom went out the door. Mom grew up Catholic and dad became Catholic so they could be married. The only church in Arnegard was Lutheran and so mom and dad drove to Watford City every Sunday for mass. When mom only had me she told dad she’d like to make a quilt, as she had the time. Dad told her she couldn’t because they didn’t have enough money to buy the fabric. Many of the farmers would buy all of what they needed for the year at their general store. But, they charged it and often could never pay dad back.

After seven years in Arnegard, the family with four children moved to Great Falls, Montana.Dad would now work for his brother-in-law, George Smith, at the One Stop Super as a butcher. Dad would bring home whatever food mom asked for, so she never went and bought groceries.

Mom had a chart on our refrigerator relegating weekly chores. We all had to make our own bed daily and if we failed to do so, we had to do dinner dishes for who’s ever turn it was that night. It went very well. We ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Besides having them for breakfast and lunch, we usually had them for our after school snack. We were bringing so many kids home for after school snack that she made a new rule. We could each only invite two friends for snack. Well, with six of us, that could be 18 kids! No wonder my friend, Kathy, asked why our floor was always sticky!

Mom made birthdays very special. The twins and I have birthdays two days in a row so every year mom would bake 6 birthday cakes for those two days. We each had one to share with the family and one for our party, which once we were school age would be a slumber party. The party cake would be in the shape of a treasure chest or something fun. When I got to college, my mom sent me a big box on my birthday with everything needed to celebrate, including an angel food cake, a topping, balloons, etc.

Mom let me have every pet imaginable, even though things often didn’t go well. She was tolerant through it all even when we’d lose a hamster down a heat vent so we’d have to have the windows open in the dead of winter in that room until it dried out and quit stinking. Whoever slept in that room had to sleep elsewhere for quite some time. Oh, and then when I had a goat in the back of the station wagon and it stuck its horns up through the upholstery on the roof.Or when my St. Bernard broke the window in the front door with her wagging tail. I don’t remember mom being upset over anything!

Mom and dad had an exciting opportunity to start a store in the new Holiday Village mall in Great Falls. It was called the Curiosity Shop. Mom was very busy with all of us at home, and dad worked most days from 9 to 9. I guess on Sundays it was noon to 5. We had a wonderful life on 4th Avenue North, which included many friends to play with. We invented a game called Guards where we would do flips off the railing on the front porch.Mom was always supportive in all of our creative fun. Mom taught me to sew on the machine and taught me to embroider, two things that I still love doing. Mom made sure we had dessert at every meal, so we had many opportunities in the kitchen.

Mom had a degree in dietetics from St. Catherine University. She wanted to major in home economics, but a nun in the program made her so miserable she switched fields. She worked as a dietitian briefly, but it made life at home not go as smoothly so she quit that.

When dad died mom had to take care of home and the store in the mall. My brother, Tom, would’ve gone to college that year, but he stayed home to help mom. She was incredible as she coped with the situation, especially since she had not ever done anything in the business world and she didn’t get any time to mourn dad’s passing.

Mom had a house build on the Missouri River where she loved being closer to nature. She never tired of watching the river, the birds and other wildlife. Then, later, she moved to Chandler, Arizona where she lived in Sunbird, a retirement community. There she enjoyed bird watching, tennis, traveling, playing Rummikub, and learning how to do rosemaling, a decorative style of painting. Her last year was spent near her twins in Casa Grande where she lived at an assisted living facility, The Garnet.

We’ve never had a family argument or bad feeling amongst us. I don’t know how mom did it, but by her example we’ve always gotten along.

Marie Shirley Jones, Estelle’s oldest daughter,May 5th, 2019