Grimm, Shirley Louise
Shirley Louise Grimm, 79, of Stanwood, died Nov. 25, 2012, at Cedar Manor Nursing Home, Tipton. Services: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Stanwood Union Church, with Pastor Phil Leipold and Pastor Christine Wagner-Hecht officiating. Burial: Stanwood Cemetery. Visitation: 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Chapman Funeral Home in Clarence.
Born Oct. 1, 1933, in Burlington, Iowa, the daughter of Harry E. and Alice (Weber) Wagner, she married Lou Grimm on Nov. 24, 1961, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Burlington. He died in 2010.
Shirley Grimm was a trailblazer of women’s athletics, playing semipro softball for the Burlington Merchants softball team when Burlington High School offered no women’s sports programs, and going on to play for the Chicago-based Rockola Chicks of the National Girls Baseball League. Graduating from Burlington High School in 1951, she attended Carthage College. She supplemented her education with studies at the University of Washington and in Sweden and Mexico City and in 1952, attended the Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, beginning a lifelong love of travel. After graduating from college, she taught physical education in Beloit, Wis., then back home in Burlington, where she met her eventual husband, Louis Grimm, whom she married on Nov. 24, 1961.
They moved to Stanwood in 1966. Shirley remained active throughout her life: an avid golfer, gardener, camping and outdoor recreation enthusiast; one of the first adopters of walking as a daily fitness regimen; and a referee of area Division III college basketball and volleyball. She began her career as a high school volleyball official in 1972 and went on to officiate over 1,000 volleyball matches in Iowa and 15 state tournaments. She went on to be inducted into the Burlington Athletics Hall of Fame and, in 2006, into the Iowa High School Girls Volleyball Hall of Fame. She attended two more Olympiads, the 1968 Mexico City and the 1976 Montreal games; cycled through France twice; was, along with Lou, a season-ticket holder for Iowa Hawkeye basketball and football throughout their years together, and additionally journeyed over the course of her life to Western Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, most of the continental U.S. and Hawaii.
In addition to their own three children, Shirley and Lou hosted four foreign exchange students, and she extended her commitment to juvenile development as a founder of the Peter Pan Preschool of Mechanicsville and Stanwood and as a Girl Scout troop leader and, for many years, a director of the Mississippi Valley Girl Scout Council. Through her years in Stanwood, she was also active with the Stanwood Library board, the Laetitians’ Club and the Stanwood Union Church, where she was an omnipresent voice in the church choir, and she returned to education later in her career as a library associate with Lincoln Community Schools
Survivors include her son, Matthew L. of Madison, Wis.; daughters, Lori L. “Goose”(Dan) Pekarek of Tampa, Fla., and Dr. Suzanne B. (fiance Dale Kuklinski) Grimm of Madison, Wis.; and brother, Wayne Wagner of Fort Collins, Colo.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Gary; and husband, Louis.
Published Nov. 26, 2012 in The Gazette