Shirley Doerschner


“Even though her communication skills were fading, she was always singing.”

Shirley passed away on March 19th, 2020 having lived a full life for 95 years.

Shirley was born in Chicago in 1924 and had wanderlust from her earliest years. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree and taught in Chicago’s Spalding School, a school dedicated for children with disabilities. Like many Chicagoans Shirley began spending her weekends in the Saugatuck, Michigan area. She then moved permanently to Douglas, MI, living with her friend Elizabeth Jansen. Shirley retired from the Chicago Public schools and was hired by the Holland Public schools and worked there for 20 years.

Shirley and Liz traveled extensively; they took a trip around the world (literally), with other trips to Europe, the Americas and an African safari. In Michigan she owned a large boat and cruised around the Great Lakes. She had a snowmobile for winter fun. She also found time to get her pilots license. Visiting Shirley in Michigan was always an adventure.

Shirley and Liz then relocated to Sun City West in 1982. They loved the area, the climate and especially the golf courses. Shirley had 6 hole-in-ones (yes 6) from area courses. They also traveled extensively in the Southwest, and loved staying in Sedona. Shirley always loved dogs and volunteered at animal shelters in the area. Jazzercise was a big part of her life and she participated in many of their shows.

She was preceded in death by her longtime friend, Elizabeth Jansen; her parents, Herbert and Charlotte (Pol) Doerschner; her brother, Roy Doerschner; and her sister, Doris Theel. She is survived by her nephews, Dan (Margarita) and Dave (Sue) Doerschner, and 5 great-nieces and nephews.

Shirley loved people and always made you feel that she was happy to be with you. She spent her final days at Brookdale Camino del Sol and appreciated the care from she received from Hospice of the Valley and Brookdale Hospice.