Hearts Love 19

Shirley (Judisch) Shookman

February 10, 1940 ~ May 24, 2022 (age 82)


Shirley Judisch Shookman passed away on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Surprise, Arizona. She was 82 years old. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, wife, great aunt, great-great aunt, sister, cousin, and friend. Shirley Ann was born on February 10, 1940, in Bremer County, Iowa, to Viola (Tietje) Judisch and Robert Judisch, the fifth of six children. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Buck Creek, Iowa. While she had her three children at home, she volunteered at their school in any capacity needed – as room mom, PTA program chairman, and even PTA president. As if she weren’t busy enough already, she was also active in both her garden club and gourmet club. A lifelong music lover, she was also a gifted singer, and sang solo at weddings and church, as well as in the church choir. After being a homemaker, she decided to go back to school and graduated from Indiana Vocational Technical College with a degree in Secretarial-Medical Technology. She then worked as a medical secretary and office manager for an internist.

In 1988, she married Ronald Shookman, a pharmacist, and they finally retired in 1998 in Surprise, Arizona. While she lived there, she enjoyed her theater group, the Iowa Club, and everything at her church (American Lutheran Church of Sun City): Tuesday morning Bible study, Wednesday Night Alive study, Saturday Morning Breakfast Group, and Sunday worship services. Throughout her life, she lived in six different cities including Sumner, Waverly, and Ames, Iowa; Schenectady, New York; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Surprise, Arizona. While she was always a very proud Iowan, she wrote that she absolutely “love[d] Arizona’s warm weather and the many activities in which [she could] participate.” She also got the chance to travel frequently. Her favorite trips included (but were certainly not limited to): a 3-week tour of Europe with her daughter, Bonnie, and the students of Bonnie’s Ball State University Study Abroad group (which she told stories of often); a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Europe with her husband, Ron; and several trips to Norway with her beloved brother, David, and the Luren Singers (the oldest on-going men's chorus in the USA devoted to Norwegian music).

She absolutely adored her family, both immediate and extended. Her granddaughters, Kristin and Kathryn, remember her as someone who would enthusiastically play any zany pretend role-playing game they wanted, always with a video camera to capture the special moments, laughing at their antics with her distinct laugh. She always emphasized education, and was very open and accepting of others. In addition, she really cared for people through food, the standouts being her chicken noodle soup and her bread, which they joined her in making despite their elementary-school attention spans. They also remember playing games with her, especially Monopoly and dominos. One of her nephews and his wife share that “​her genuine love and caring was very appreciated by our entire family…. She would just light up so much when talking about [her family].” Another nephew says that she “was very open about sharing details from her life and our shared family history. I probably learned more about my grandparents, aunts and uncles (and even my own father) from her than from personal experience.”

Shirley is survived by: her daughter, Lorri (Darwin) Briggs, of Fort Worth, Texas; her son, Bradley P. Lahmann, of Cincinnati, Ohio; her granddaughter, Kristin (Jack Pollock) Briggs, of New York City, New York; her granddaughter, Kathryn Briggs, of Fort Worth, Texas; her sister, Miriam Westendorf Walker, of Denver, Iowa; her sister-in-Law, Dorothy Judisch, of Sumner, Iowa; her brother, David (Gail) Judisch, of Decorah, Iowa; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by: her parents, Robert and Viola Judisch; her daughter, Bonnie S. Lahmann; her husband, Ronald Shookman; her sister, Ruth Peters Steinbronn; her sister, Dorothy Gloede Niemeyer; and her brother, Lawrence Judisch.

A Memorial Service will be observed at American Lutheran Church of Sun City, Arizona at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Memorial Gifts are suggested to either of the following: American Lutheran Church of Sun City, 17200 N. Del Webb Blvd, Sun City, AZ  85373 or Christian Crusaders, 7401 University Ave., Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613.

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American Lutheran Church of Sun City
17200 N. Del Webb Blvd, Sun City AZ 85373

Christian Crusaders
7401 University Avenue, Cedar Falls IA 50613

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