Shirley Smolinski, 85

Shirley Marie Smolinski, age 85, of Thief River Falls, MN, formerly of Cokato, passed away peacefully Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, at her residence.

A memorial service will take place Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato, with the Rev. Tim Wheatley officiating.

Arrangements are with Johnson Funeral Service of Thief River Falls.

Shirley was born Jan. 23, 1934, in a crowded little three-room house in Leeds, IA, the daughter of Henry and Lona (Shirley) Hermann.

She moved with her family to Sioux City, IA in 1939, and later to Cokato, where she attended seventh and eighth grade at the Melquist School.

Shirley graduated from Cokato High School in May of 1951. After graduation, she worked at Yellowstone National Park for the summer and when she returned, got a job in Minneapolis at the Federal Reserve Bank as a proof operator, where she worked for one and one-half years.

Shirley was united in marriage to James Smolinski June 19, 1954, in Cokato; and to this union, two children were born, Deborah and Jeffrey.

The family made their home in Minneapolis, where Shirley worked in banking most of her life.

Shirley’s family was her pride and joy. She also enjoyed bird watching, sewing, hosting holidays at her house, baking, cooking, and doing crafts, which she gave as gifts to her family from the heart. She spent many of her later years caring for her parents until they passed away.

As a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato, Shirley met many people who became good friends.

She is survived by her daughter, Debbie Tate of Thief River Falls; son, Jeff Smolinski of Oregon; grandchildren Dennis (Crystal) Tate of Thief River Falls, Melanie (Aaron Athmann) Tate of Little Falls, and Drake Smolinski of Oregon; great-grandchildren Logan Tate, Makenzie Tate, Colton Olson, Lillian Tate, Peyton Tate, and Ethan Tate; a sister, Ellen Kelly of Plymouth; and many other relatives and friends.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Johnny (Arlayne) Hermann; and a brother-in-law, Derry Kelly.

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