Saturday, December 4, 2021

Shirley Lipke’s obituary (2021)

Lipke, Shirley A.

Madison – Shirley Ann Lipke, age 86, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 30, 2021. He was born on September 10, 1935, to Vincent and Elvira (Long) Peseric in Rivers, Wis. Shirley had wonderful stories of her growing up adventures on the shores of Lake Michigan. And as the dementia tightened its grip on his bright mind, it was the memories of the “trivers” that never faded.

When Shirley was 11 years old, her mother passed away. He lovingly took the responsibility of taking care of his family. Dinner was served at lunch at the time, so Shirley went home from school in the afternoon and prepared a hot meal. It was this early experience that gave Shirley the life skills she would need to overcome the challenges that awaited her. A solid foundation for a life of self-sacrifice, determined, independent and caring with undying love of God.

“Put on your shoes, Lucy,” was a song Shirley frequently quoted last year. And that’s exactly what “Pacey” and her good friend “Kuchi” put on their white shoes and go to Madison to attend St. Mary’s Nursing School. It was here that he met friends for life, Pat, Mary Jo and Dort. Oh, the fun they’ve had all year long.

Shirley became an RN in 1956 and went to work at a VA hospital. She fell in love with nursing and Chuck Lipke. They were married on October 1, 1960. It wasn’t easy for women in the ’60s to pursue careers and raise families, so Shirley took off her white shoes and welcomed five children. To say that Shirley had her hands full on Tokey Boulevard is an understatement. But he took on more—becoming a fierce advocate for his autistic son, Todd. Not much was known about autism, its cause or treatment. So, Shirley partnered with researchers and clinicians at the Wiseman and Children’s Treatment Centers, and together, they fought for the rights of autistic children. When the public schools announced they would accept students with disabilities, Shirley marched up to the superintendent’s office and said, “See you in September.” Todd was the first autistic child enrolled in the Madison Metropolitan School District.

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Shirley has five children, Peter (Theresa), Amy (Wayne), Todd, Michael (Lori) and Timothy (Stephanie); six grandchildren, Jack, Andrew, Sierra (Dylan), Carly, Megan (Luke) and Michelle; brother-in-law, Robert Miller; And many nieces and nephews. She is further survived by dear friends, Pat Elliot and Ellen McAdams. Your friendship was a gift from God. Shirley was killed by her parents; Husband, Chuck; brother, doctor; sisters, Dolores and Mary; nieces and nephews, Ann and Thomas; And more recently deceased members of the “Sunday Dinner Club,” Bill Ehlert and Helen Straw. Your seat at the table will be reserved forever.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Christian Burial Mass, presided over by Father Rich Litzou at the Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Madison.

The Lipke family would like to thank the nurses and staff at All Saints Memory Care and Ages Hospice, especially Jessica, Amy, Lora, Connie, Beth, Chelsea, Susie and Allison, as well as Betty, Sherry and Teresi, who helped Shirley stay helped in In your home until August you are our hero!

Please consider donating to the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin or the Queen of Peace School Endowment Fund in Shirley’s name.

Published by on November 7, 2021.

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