Shirley Ann (Groe) Holstad

May 12, 1928 – December 17, 2019

Shirley Ann (Groe) Holstad, 91,  Clear Lake, passed away Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019, at IOOF Home, Mason City.
Per Shirley’s wishes, her body has been cremated and a visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. Friday, June 26, 2020, at Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake. Inurnment will take place Saturday, June 27, 2020 at Bristol Lutheran Church Cemetery, Lake Mills.
In Lieu of flowers, donation could be sent in care of the Bristol Cemetery Fund c/o Farmer’s State Bank, 116 Main St #7713, Joice, IA 50446.
Shirley was born May 12, 1928, on the Groe family farm near Lake Mills in Worth County, the daughter of Gilman O. and Cora B. (Troe) Groe. Shirley’s father died when she was in grade school. Her mother later moved several times, while serving as the matriarch and single mother to 11 children. In later years, Cora lived with some of her grown children in the area, including with Shirley and Dale.
Shirley went to country school from first to sixth grade.  In seventh grade she went to Lake Mills Junior High staying with her brother’s family.  She attended eighth grade at a country school while living with Anna Stordahl, near Joice, IA. She was confirmed into the Sion/Bristol Lutheran Church congregations in October 1942, by Pastor Helleckson. Shirley graduated from Lake Mills High School on May 16, 1946.  
Shirley began her life of work and service to others as a very young girl. She lived with several other families in the area, providing babysitting, housework, and farm duties.
Shirley earned an Elementary Teachers Certificate on May 16, 1946, entering Iowa Teachers College (now UNI) through the summer. A teaching position was waiting for her at age 18, when she finished at Cedar Falls. She taught school in Bristol Township for two years, and substituted after that.
While teaching at Bristol, she met Dale Holstad, who worked the farm adjacent to the school. She married to Dale on March 21, 1948, at the Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills, by Pastor Thomas Boe.
She and Dale farmed, and she became actively involved in the chores and field work. They were blessed with two sons, and as they grew up they helped with the work. Shirley worked at Fleetguard in Lake Mills, Iowa for a short time, working the late shift, eleven to seven.  Her next job was at a packing company in Lake Mills, were she was a heliarc welder, welding the parts that were used to package soups and coffee.  She next was employed at Graphic Publishing Co./Stoyles Printing in Lake Mills  for 17 years.  
During their marriage together, their life centered on family, friends, farming, cooking, square dancing, RAGBRAI, bridge and card parties, and of course church.
After Dale retired, they moved to Clear Lake, IA in 1991.  They took some trips in the winter but seemed to like home pretty well.  She did some golfing and fishing, also liked to play cards and games.  They did a lot of fall work for neighbors with leaves and snow removal in winter.  They operated a bed and breakfast out of their home for several years and worked for a catering business for a time.  They both volunteered at Opportunity Village from 1992 until 2009.  They also volunteered for Hospice of North Iowa, and were advocates for Oakwood Care Center.  Sewing innumerable quilts for Lutheran World Relief at Zion Lutheran Church was a valuable passion for Shirley that she enjoyed for decades.  Shirley was kind. She was a giver and almost everyone called her the nicest person they’d ever met. She inspired those around her. To aspire to be like her is a challenge and an honor. To be associated with her kindness is a privilege and a blessing.
Shirley is survived by two sons; Gary (Marcia) Holstad, Duluth, GA and Dave Holstad, Clear Lake, IA; two grandchildren Stephanie (Jason) DeWitt, Cedar Rapids, IA and Steven (Heather) Holstad, La Grange Park, IL; five great grandchildren Selia, Daphne, Beck, Reed and Graham; one sister Marjorie Myhr, Dothan, AL; sister-in-law Evelyn Groe, Lake Mills, IA; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, husband Dale (June 25, 2009); a brother, Gene in infancy; siblings, Gaylord (Helen) Groe, Orlin (Norma) Groe, Raymond Groe, Lester (Lovenea) Groe, Noreen (Gladys) Groe, Dennis Groe, Carol (Bud) Willand, Roy Myhr, Jean (Samuel) Wilson, and Irene McDowell; Dale’s siblings, Arnold (Marian) Holstad, Marlene (Alton) Johnson, Carmen (Luther) Hanson, Beverly (Fred) Dregne, Violet (Vern) Nelson.


Lake Mills Graphic

204 N. Mill Street
Lake Mills, IA 50450

Office Number: (641) 592-4222
Fax Number: (641) 592-6397

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