A Life on a Page

I wrote my second obituary this week. That’s not something I ever thought I’d add to my repertoire, though I guess it’s nice to have something productive and helpful to do in times like these.

The last time this happened I was like a deer in headlights when the family asked me to do it, but there are plenty of online templates and how-to articles to walk you through it, should you ever find yourself in that unfortunate situation.

The fact remains, Shirley’s life and personality were simply too big for one little obituary. Ninety-one spunky years is a lot of living for one page. But hopefully she would’ve approved of these crib notes.

Ruth “Shirley” (McQuatters) Drury, 91, of North Mankato, MN, formerly of Northwood, IA, died Sunday, April 15, 2012, at Immanuel St. Joseph’s Mayo Health System, hours after suffering a heart attack in her North Mankato home.

Friends and family will gather in Northwood this week to remember Shirley and her exceptional life. The viewing will occur at the Conner Colonial Chapel, Northwood, on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M., followed by the funeral service at the Northwood United Methodist Church on Thursday, April 19, 2012,11:00 A.M. with Pastor Wendi Gillan presiding.

Born on September 10, 1920, in Worth County, IA, Shirley was the daughter of Claude and Ruth “Hazel” (Buchanan) McQuatters.  Shirley graduated from Northwood High School and received a secretarial degree from Hamilton Business College, specializing in shorthand.

All who knew Shirley remember her as a woman of style and substance. Professionally, she was a hard worker with a brilliant array of careers, including U.S. Army secretary, bookbinder, movie theater owner, bowling alley and restaurant owner, cook, and bowling instructor. Personally, she was an adored wife, a devoted mother, a beloved grandmother, a cherished mother-in-law, a proud great grandma, an influential youth mentor, a dynamic friend, and a vibrant community member.  Some of Shirley’s greatest joys in life were music, reading, travel, sunshine, theater, golfing, baking, and most of all, spending time with her family.

Left to cherish her memory are her brother, James McQuatters of Albuquerque, NM; her daughter, Diane (Ron) Myli of Northwood; her son-in-law Charles LaGow; six grandchildren, Ryan (Angela) Hylland of Seattle, WA, Alan Myli of Northwood, Adam (Amanda) Myli of Toledo, IA, Andrea (Naylan Gates-Long) Myli of Waterloo, IA, Patti (Chip) Kudrle of Shakopee, MN, and Barbara LaGow of Lakeville, MN; eight great grandchildren, Szaba Hylland, Amber and Phillip Myli, Natalie, Alison, and Aaron Kudrle, and Jack and Michaella Bergman; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Laura (McQuatters) Lanstrum; her brother, Earl “Philip” McQuatters; her inspiring daughter and dear friend, Mary “Sue” (Drury) LaGow; and her husband of 50 years, Herschel Ralph Drury, who always called her his “bride”.

Memorial flowers may be sent to the Conner Colonial Chapel and donations given to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in honor of her daughter.

5 thoughts on “A Life on a Page

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