Shirley Ann (Oentrich) Zembsch, was born in O'Brien County, IA, January 26, 1937 to Elda (Kuehl) and Fritz Oentrich. As a child, she lived in the Paullina, Sutherland and Gaza areas. She was baptized May 5, 1948, and confirmed on March 18, 1951. She graduated from Gaza High School.
Shirley married the love of her life, Robert Zembsch, and together they raised five children in Cherokee. The family did a lot of camping—the children often bringing along their friends. Shirley worked as a unit secretary at Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital, and retired in 1987 due to her struggles with Rheumatoid Arthritis. She was a member of the Hospital Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary and the Arthritis Foundation.
Shirley had a real passion for life. She enjoyed traveling, music, dancing and doing crafts. She liked spending time with her flowers and garden. She canned much of the produce she grew, and put it to good use for cooking and baking. She had a large collection of cookbooks. She also collected angels and cups & saucers. She was an avid sports fan, and was especially loyal to the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Shirley was blessed with a good sense of humor and a nurturing spirit. She lovingly took on the role of caretaker for her parents and for her brother, Bruce.
On Thursday, January 18, 2018, Shirley passed away at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center, at the age of 80. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Robert on Oct. 19, 1978, and two brothers, Arlo (Ozzie) Oentrich and Bruce Oentrich.
Survivors include her children: Michael (Marilyn) Zembsch of Phoenix, AZ, Dan (Sarah) Zembsch of Cape Girardeau, MO, Kathy Smith of Lewisville, TX, Melinda (Pat) Winchell of Henderson, NV, and Melissa (Mike) Jensen of Iowa Park, TX; her sister, Sharon (Orlyn) Miller of Minneapolis, MN; her grandchildren: Tyson Smith, Gillian, Ben, Joseph & Anna Mae Zembsch, Daniel & Chris Winchell, Jennifer Hale, Guthrie Jensen; 11 great grandchildren; other relatives and friends.