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Published April 27, 2013, 12:00 AM

Shirley Ann Summerville

Shirley Summerville, loved and adored wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend passed away April 23, 2013 after a valiant and heroic two year battle with brain cancer. She was 65 years old.

Shirley was born on June 30, 1947 in Moorhead, MN to Vernon and Colletta Christiansen. She grew up and attended school in Rothsay and Barnesville, MN graduating from Barnesville High School in 1965. Following high school Shirley received her secretarial accreditation from Alexandria Vocational Technical College in Alexandria, MN in 1966 and began her professional career in the Twin Cities, which included working at Miller Hospital for three years.

Shirley Ann Summerville

Shirley Summerville, loved and adored wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend passed away April 23, 2013 after a valiant and heroic two year battle with brain cancer. She was 65 years old.

Shirley was born on June 30, 1947 in Moorhead, MN to Vernon and Colletta Christiansen. She grew up and attended school in Rothsay and Barnesville, MN graduating from Barnesville High School in 1965. Following high school Shirley received her secretarial accreditation from Alexandria Vocational Technical College in Alexandria, MN in 1966 and began her professional career in the Twin Cities, which included working at Miller Hospital for three years.

On February 7, 1970 Shirley married Tom Summerville at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Breckenridge, MN. They made their home in Fargo, ND. Upon her move to Fargo, Shirley worked for Northwestern Bell for a couple of years before starting a family. While raising her own family she opened her doors to other children and ran a home daycare for a number of years.

Once her own children were in their teenage years, Shirley began working outside of the house again and helped manage the Moorhead Center Mall before becoming one of Fargo's first employees of U.S. West Cellular, which later became AirTouch Cellular and is presently known as Verizon Wireless. During her 21 year career with Verizon Wireless she received many awards recognizing her dedication to her customers. To many she will always be known as the cell phone lady.

After being a member of Nativity Catholic Church for many years, Shirley and her family became charter members of Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church. Shirley had the distinct honor of being one of the first two trustees of the new parish and has her name and signature on documents located at the Vatican in Rome, Italy. Shirley served in many leadership roles at both parishes, which included serving on the Pastoral Council, Financial Council, Decoration Committee, being a sacristan for masses, and being the first president of Sts. Anne & Joachim Church's Christian Ladies Group (now known as Catholic Daughters of America.) With faith being the center of her life she served on the Core Building Committee helping in the design of the beautiful Sts. Anne & Joachim Church worship space that will be adorned by generations to come. While serving on this committee Shirley's focus was to design the kitchen in which she enjoyed serving dinner for the Fall Festivals & parish breakfasts.

The center and heart of Shirley's life was being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Shirley and Tom were blessed with a wonderful marriage that spanned 43 years. It was a true partnership in Shirley's illness as Tom was her primary caregiver and rarely left her side. She devoted her life to her family by attending every and any activity which included countless sporting events, anything school sponsored, Boy Scouts of America den mother, and participated in her children's faith by being their confirmation teacher. Her four grandchildren were the bright lights of her life. She would ask them, "Who loves you the most?" and the children would immediately respond, "Grandma!" Shirley was the matriarch of her family and developed a family unit that created many happy and loving memories. She was very proud that her family would gather every Sunday for dinner to enjoy good food and each other’s company. A testament to the family was the honor of being the North Dakota Knights of Columbus Family of the Year in 2010.

Shirley will be remembered for her sincere kindness and strong hugs affectionately known as a "Shirley Hug". She was an excellent cook and would cook and cook for holidays to assure everyone had their favorite foods made; she made enough to feed an army. Shirley was always helping others and always put the needs of others before her own. She lived a very positive life never saying anything negative about anyone or anything. Shirley was a second mother to many friends of her children, her daycare children, and to some of her Verizon Wireless co-workers. She was always up for a card game or dancing to a good Elvis song. Shirley had beautiful handwriting that many envied. Her favorite place was at home, especially spending time outside surrounded by her beautiful flowers with her family. Shirley loved and cared about many and she will be missed every day.

Shirley is survived by her loving husband Tom; three children, Sheri (Kory) Bartels (Oxbow, ND), Gene (Stacy) Summerville (West Fargo, ND), and Mark Summerville (Fargo, ND); four grandchildren Parker and Avery Bartels, and Cole & Ella Summerville; two sisters Linda (Pat) Gorman (Savage, MN), and Terrie (Jerry) Lindsey (Eden Prairie, MN) and several other family members and friends.

She is preceded in death by both her parents and her two brothers Raymond and Robert.

The family would like to thank the compassionate and caring staffs of Elim Care & Rehab Center and Hospice of the Red River Valley. The family always wanted the best care for Shirley and it was found at Elim. They would also like to thank the Roger Maris Cancer Center, Abbott Northwestern Brain Tumor Center (Minneapolis, MN), and all of the friends and family who walked the journey with them these past two years.

Visitation will be Sunday, April 28 from 5:00-7:00 pm with the rosary beginning at 6:30 pm and the remembrance service starting at 7:00 pm. The celebration of life service will be Monday, April 29 at 10:30 am with a luncheon to follow. Both services will be at Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church in Fargo, ND.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo. To sign the online guestbook please visit www.boulgerfuneralhome.com.

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