Shirley Jo Tate Engler was born April 9, 1932, to Thelma Barry Tate and Arthur Samual Tate in Tulsa, Okla., the second of 10 children. She was surrounded by her five daughters at home when she went home to be with the Lord at the age of 90 on Nov. 7.
Shirley moved many times with family until they finally landed in Bayfield, Colo., where she met the love of her life, Richard Claire Engler. They were married July 8, 1949, in Aztec, N.M. She was a full-time helper on the ranch/farm as well as wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to all.
Shirley was very active in her community as a member and officer of the Mt. Allison Grange, La Plata Pomona Grange, Colorado State Grange and National Grange; the Allison Community Presbyterian Church; La Plata County, Colo., and National Cowbelles and Cattlemen’s; Allison Willing Workers; Allison Ranchettes; Pine River Valley Heritage Society; as well as supporting partner to Rich as an LPEA director, Lions, Basin Coop and La Plata County Fair board member.
She was active in her daughters’ 4-H lives, 4-H leader and Jr. Grange leader, and taught many lessons to them, the grandchildren and many others. She was a hero to many and a true example of how to work, play and live. She was a caretaker to many family, friends and neighbors. She was a loving Mama Jo to the grandkids and great grandkids.
Her husband of 61 years; brothers: Tom, Harry, Jack and Sam Tate; grandson Douglas Phelps; and great-granddaughter, Kinley Simons, preceded Shirley in death. Her daughters, Norma Conley (Pat), Karen Baxter (Dennis), Sharon Nossaman (Burl), Louetta Phelps (Roger) and Trish Corman (Larry), survive her. Also surviving are her brother John Tate (Evelyn), sisters Betty Swanemyr and Margaret Sutton, 13 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Allison Community Presbyterian Church (P.O. Box 1899, Arboles, CO 81121), Mt. Allison Grange #308 (C/O Sharon Nossaman, 11173 Hwy. 151, Ignacio, CO 81137) or Hospice of Mercy. The family would like to thank Camy and the team at the Hospice of Mercy for their care.
There will be a visitation on Sunday, Nov. 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Hood Mortuary Chapel, 1261 E. 3rd Ave., Durango. A funeral service will be on Monday, Nov.14, at 1 p.m. at the Allison Community Church, 2724 CR 329, Ignacio, CO 81137, with burial to follow at Allison-Tiffany Cemetery.