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Shirley Birky

Shirley A. Birky, 62, rural Detroit Lakes, died Friday, May 1, 2009, in her home, surrounded by her family, and under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Shirley was born on July 18, 1946, to Dale and Lois (Hoffman) Oswald in West Point, Neb. She was raised and educated in Frazee, graduating from Frazee High School in 1964. Shirley married Stanley Birky on June 6, 1965, at Lake Region Mennonite Church. They made their home in rural Detroit Lakes. Shirley was an active member of Harvest Fellowship Church in Frazee.

Shirley cherished her family and was deeply loved by all she met. Her family and friends gathered around the hospitality and openness of her home where she served joyfully without concern for who got the credit. Her interests and deep faith caused her to minister at home and in foreign missions, especially enjoying trips to south Texas and Mexico. Children loved and trusted her, others sought her godly wisdom and council. She was known for her smile and grace, her exceptional talents in flower gardening, cooking, quilting and scrap booking, of which she had many volumes. Shirley was a friend and a mentor to many.

Shirley is survived by her husband, Stanley Birky, rural Detroit Lakes; children, Tamra (Cal) Shipman, Detroit Lakes, Bradley (Tammy) Birky, Frazee, Donna (Andy) Carpenter, Minnetonka, Minn.; 12 grandchildren; a great-grandson; nine brothers, Dennis (Connie) Oswald, Detroit Lakes, Jerry (Marlys) Oswald, Frazee, Gordon Oswald, Osage, Harley (Marie) Oswald, Kerkhoven, Minn., Larry (Shelly) Oswald, Frazee, Tom Oswald and Tim Oswald, both of Detroit Lakes, Chris Oswald and Cory Oswald, both of Frazee; two sisters, Judy (Bruce) Palm, Rochert, Kathy (Jack) Dretsch, Frazee; two aunts, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Patrick Oswald, and mother-in-law, Erma Birky.

The funeral service is Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 11 a.m. in First Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes.

Visitation is Monday (today) from 5-8 p.m. in West-Kjos Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.

Interment is in Lake Region Mennonite Cemetery, rural Detroit Lakes.

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