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Shirley Ann Plevak

Posted By Menke Funeral & Cremation Center On November 7, 2017 @ 2:16 pm In Obituary | 14 Comments

Please join us in mourning the loss of our dear wife, mother and grandmother Shirley Plevak who passed away on Friday, November 3rd.

Shirley grew up in South Milwaukee, WI with her parents, Hilton and Virginia and two brothers, Wayne and David in the idealic post WWII era. These were simple times surrounded by friends, family and some of the best Polish and German food to be found in the country. But even better than the brats straight from Sheboygan was her boyfriend from three streets over – Joe Plevak.

Joe and Shirley met at a high school dance in the early 1950’s. Shirley was voted the “queen” of this particular dance and asked Joe to be her “king.” A high-school sweetheart romance ensued. After a brief time apart as they both pursued their college degrees, the romance grew culminate with marriage in July of 1961.

Shirley and Joe started their married years as a military family in Fort Reilly, KS. They fondly recall those years shared with the tight knit military community but probably most special was the arrival of their first daughter, Janelle who was delivered on the base for the handsome sum of seven dollars…Joe had to pay for the meals.

They have four daughters in total. Julie, Jill and Joan round out the Plevak clan. While Julie was born in South Milwaukee, Jill and Joan where born in Aurora, IL where the family grew and thrived for many years. Weekend pool parties at the Plevak house were the cornerstone of the Aurora summer.

Shirley had a special affinity for children and this love was not only played out with her own children but also as part of her chosen career as lower elementary school teacher. She taught for several schools over her 30+ year career. Her Master’s degree and reputation for individual care insured she was always in high demand. Shirley routinely spent her own time on evenings and weekends making sure her home rooms were always impeccably decorated for the delight of her students.

Shirley and Joe retired in 2001 and moved to Sun City, AZ. A move that they both describe as “the best decision they ever made.” Along with the enjoyment of retirement years was the ability to focus on family. Support of her daughters and her rapidly expanding brood of grandchildren was Shirley’s special passion. She has six in all. Her triplet grandsons Garrett, Lucas and Nathan (23) along with Joe (19), Sam (16) and Lauren (15). She was always thrilled to hear about the daily adventures of her grandkids. She would sit and quiz them for hours hanging on their every word.

Shirley was wonderfully creative and active in many of the clubs in Sun City. As a regular member of the stamping, silver, beading and stained glass clubs she created little treasures for the enjoyment of her friends and family. She had a special fondness for making greeting cards and would toil for hours until her product was perfect. Receiving one of her “Made by Shirley” cards for a special occasion was always a thrill.

Like many woman, Shirley loved to bargain hunt. Any cute nick knack with a story and history was her prey. Her favorite shopping destination was Goodwill and you simply couldn’t pass a Goodwill without stopping in to peruse the latest offerings!

Few people can decorate for the holidays like Shirley. Her favorite occasion was Christmas. At the Plevak household, preparations for Christmas would begin months in advance and not stop until the house was transformed into a winter wonderland meeting her exact imagination and standards. So meticulous was she that it was not uncommon to see her completing one of her several Christmas trees on Christmas Eve…tinsel strand by tinsel strand. Until you have seen Shirley’s main Christmas tree in its full glory, you have not seen a Christmas tree!

Shirley was a loving and dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She will be greatly missed.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at Menke Funeral & Cremation Center. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, November 9, 2017 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 6180 W. Utopia Rd., Glendale, Arizona. Interment will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.

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Condolences for the family of “Shirley Ann Plevak”

Condolence from Matthew Plevak on November 7th, 2017 3:21 pm

Dear Joe and family. My deepest condolences for your loss. Shirley was such a joy and blessing to all.

Condolence from ALESIA M BROWN on November 7th, 2017 7:00 pm

Joe and Family. Thinking of you all in this sad time of losing your mom, wife, good friend to all of us one. May the thought of knowing that friends share in your sadness be some comfort to you all.
Deepest synpathy

Condolence from Margaret and Chris Karidis on November 8th, 2017 7:35 am

Dear Joe..So sorry to hear of the passing of Shirley..We will cherish the happy times and good memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Condolence from Ken & Connie Bednar on November 8th, 2017 9:52 am

Joe and family…even though we have not seen your family for years the memories of all of you were always fond. One particular memory of Shirley helping my Mom when making me a “poodle” skirt for some special occasion remains in my heart. Deepest sympathy goes out to the whole family as I am sure she will be missed..

Condolence from Shawne on November 8th, 2017 11:30 am

So sorry to hear of the sudden passing of Shirley. Thoughts and prayers to the entire family. She was a wonderful lady.

Condolence from Gloria on November 8th, 2017 11:50 am

Dear Julie and family….
So sorry to hear about your sweet mother’s sudden passing.
Be assured of our love and prayers for you and your family!
We miss you at 5points! Gloria Barrick

Condolence from Tanya, Dan, Izzy and Syd Dadosky on November 8th, 2017 12:00 pm

We are so sorry for your loss. Just know that we are thinking about all of you and praying for comfort for your family.

Condolence from Brad Bradley on November 8th, 2017 12:27 pm

I will mourn for Mom Shirley forever
Love Brad (Son in law)

Condolence from Jock Van Velzer on November 8th, 2017 2:36 pm

As a friend of Jill’s I morn her mother loss with her.

Condolence from Ronni French on November 8th, 2017 2:57 pm

Janelle and all the Plevak family, please know I am praying for the family during this difficult time as are the SISTERS Prayer Warriors. Shirley was my prayer buddy a couple retreats ago, what a delightful women. I regret that we lived so close and never got together, sad. My condolences and love to all.

Condolence from Jode Bunce on November 8th, 2017 3:11 pm

To Joe and all the family. So so sorry for your loss. Many of good times growing up at the Plevak household. What a beautiful write up and a wonderful video. Love and miss you all.
Jode and Christina

Condolence from June Meudt on November 8th, 2017 4:05 pm

Dear Joe and family, so sorry to hear about Shirley. Although I have not been in contact with your family, I certainly appreciated reading about her life and family and seeing what an accomplished life she had. I will be praying for comfort and support for your family.

June (Simbach) and Joe Meudt

Condolence from Janelle Blee on November 9th, 2017 12:03 pm

Many people have asked if there’s a charity that donations could be made in Mom’s name. Dad suggests the St Gerard Foundation. Here is the web link: https://saintgerardfoundation.org/
Janelle Blee (Plevak)

Condolence from Lois Simbach on November 16th, 2017 9:32 am

Dear Cousin Joey and family….. Memories of the two of you outside St. Mary’s long time ago… maybe
your wedding? I can still see her dress in the sunshine and thought how wonderful you two looked together.
So glad to see what a happy and sweet life you had all these years, and a beautiful family also.
Keep in touch, all my best… cousin Lois Simbach

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