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Shirley's Story

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Shirley Casebere (92) got her wish. With the help of Winneshiek hospice and her youngest daughter, Mary, she was able to die both peacefully and at home, Friday, Dec 8, 2017.
Shirley was born at home in Mankato, MN on October 24, 1925 to William George and Susan Cornelia Bredesen Pohl and brother, Wilbur. She spent her childhood and school days in Mankato with many friends and cousins. She loved to sing and play the piano, bake, sew, ride horses, and spend time at her grandparents' farm at the edge of town. Although the Depression made times tough, she always said that they made their own fun and entertainment, enjoying house parties and dances.
After graduating from Mankato High School, she worked at Hubbard Milling as a secretary, before being introduced to Milton Casebere by her friend, Irene, who was Milt's cousin. She was delighted to be swept off her feet by her handsome soldier, and they were married on Easter Monday, April 22, 1946 at Grace Lutheran Church. Three girls came along, Susan, 1948, Paulette (Polly), 1950 and Mary, 1955. Young friends, Diane and Steve Deeren, later became part of the family in Mankato.
Besides her busy life as a homemaker, Shirley worked for many years as a receptionist and assistant for Alton and Evelyn Lindblom Ophthalmology in North Mankato and later the optometry department at Younkers in Des Moines. Wherever she and Milt went, the Church was always an important part of their lives. Many of her dearest friendships were made there.
Shirley, always a welcoming hostess, loved to cook and bake cakes to celebrate weddings and birthdays. Her cake parties on her own birthdays were a feast of flavor, with several varieties to choose from, or "have a small piece of each", as was often the Casebere custom.
In 1985 Shirley and Milt returned to Mankato to retire and care for her parents, eventually moving to Decorah so her children could do the same. After her husband, Milton, died in 2011, Shirley moved in with her daughter, Mary in Decorah and Mary devoted these last years toward giving her a loving home in which to spend her remaining days.
Shirley leaves behind three daughters and their families: Susan and Lyle Otte of Decorah, IA, Polly Casebere and Harry Parmenter, of Carrollton, GA, Mary Kidd of Decorah, IA and Mankato kids, Diane and Steve Deeren. Grandchildren, Kristina Otte (Louis Eliopoulos) and their children, Kate and Linnea, of Morton Grove, IL; Michael Otte (Nia Tavoularis) and their children, Andrew, Helen and Georgia, of Skokie, IL; Anja Kuechenmeister (Jason Barnes) of Atlanta, GA; Teresa Kidd and daughter Megan, of Decorah, IA; Brian Kidd of Waxhaw, NC; Andy Deeren (Rebecca Gonnering), of DeSoto, IL; Daniel Deeren (Kim) of Big Lake, MN.
A Memorial Service is scheduled at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah on Jan. 13, 11:00 a.m. We welcome any gifts in her name to Winneshiek MC Hospice, 901 Montgomery St., Decorah, IA 52101.
Published on January 7, 2018
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