Shirley Billerbeck, 84, of Reinbeck, Iowa, died Thursday, June 14, 2012, at Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa, after a brief illness. Memorial services were held at 10:30 AM, Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at United Church of Christ in Reinbeck, Iowa, with Pastor Terry Plocher officiating. Burial will be at a later date. Visitation was held Tuesday, June 19, 2012, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at French Hand Funeral Home in Reinbeck. Memorials may be directed to the family. To view the complete obituary or to send messages of condolence please visit www.abelsfuneralhomes.com.
Shirley was born August 10th, 1927 to William and Ann (Albert) Kroeger. She spent her childhood on a farm near Gladbrook and graduated from Gladbrook High School in 1944. In 1950, Shirley married Robert Billerbeck of rural Reinbeck. The couple farmed and lived in Grundy County during their entire married life.
Though Shirley was a hard working farm wife who raised six children she found time to appreciate her surroundings. Whether it was through her time spent tending flowers in her vibrant garden, feeding songbirds, canning her sweet homemade raspberry jam, using her artistic talents in wildlife paintings, or her willingness to allow her children to raise the occasional orphaned squirrel or raccoon, Shirley instilled in those who knew her a love of all things nature. For years Shirley was a mainstay at the Iowa State Fair in the Flower Arranging Competition. She treasured the time she spent with family and friends. Shirley especially enjoyed seeing her grandchildren, making dollhouses for them and attending their various sporting events. She was an avid reader and card player. Each week she looked forward to playing cards with her friends at Oakleaf Country Club. Shirley was also a member of the board of the directors for the Morrison Heritage Museum.
Shirley is survived by her husband Robert and her children: Jerry (Raylene), John (Becky), Bobbi (Mitch) Salsbury, Tamara (Joseph Meyers), and Tom (Erika), and her sisters Bonnie Billerbeck and Joyce Starits. Shirley's pride and joy were her grandchildren: Aaron (Shannah), Kassie, Andi, Silas, and Lauren and Blake Salsbury, as well as one great-grandchild, James. Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Wilbur and Lynn Kroeger, infant daughters Candace and Sandra, and a son, Rick.