Shirley Cruse Obituary

Shirley  C. Cruse
Shirley C. Cruse
Shirley C. Cruse

October 8, 1925 - August 18, 2010
Born in Los Angeles, CA
Resided in West Des Moines, IA
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Shirley Carolyn Cruse, beloved wife, mother and friend, died peacefully on August 18th, 2010 at Karen Acres Nursing Home. She was born on October 8th, 1925 to Johnsine Beadle in Los Angeles, CA. Raised by her mother and stepfather, William Bell, she grew up in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. Upon graduation from high school, she moved to Des Moines and began work at Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. She was actively cast at the Des Moines Playhouse for dozens of theater productions and modeled for many local businesses. She was also chosen for the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce “Charm Circle”, a welcoming committee for visiting celebrities and dignitaries.

On April 4th, 1948, Shirley Bell married the love of her life, John Eldon Cruse II. They made their home in West Des Moines. Shirley and John were actively involved in the formation of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church. She went on to volunteer throughout her life at church, either through Lay Eucharistic Ministry, Bible study, Boone ECCC, or Cursillo. A lifelong Democrat, Shirley was extremely active in the Democratic Party of Iowa, volunteering for her precinct for close to 50 years. Shirley loved to travel, with her husband and especially with her grown children and grandchildren. A superb cook and baker, Shirley truly enjoyed preparing meals for her family. She continued to do this for as long as she was able, cooking dinners for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her cookies and pies were legendary.

Shirley and John were blessed to raise six children: J.C. (Patty), Fred (Joann), Mary, Hildy, Gail (Eddie), and Katy. They were thrilled to have fifteen grandchildren: Jake (Missy), Nathan (Chandi), Emily (Brian), Krissy (Joel), Lydia (Brandon), Amos, Travis, Carrie (Andrew), Nick, Jonathan, Phil, Krystal, Alex, Anna and Max. They were also lucky enough to meet their four great-grandchildren: Mila, Harrison, Lilly and Colin. She was preceded in death by her husband John and her sons-in-law Jim Kelsey and Steve Andreen.

Please join us at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in West Des Moines on Saturday August 21st at 5:00 pm for a church service and visitation with the family. In lieu of flowers, please honor Shirley in supporting St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church or the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk (Team Shirl’s Pearls). Shirley’s zest for life, love, faith, kindness, and humor live on through all who were touched by her.





St. Timothy's Episcopal Church
1020 - 24th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Saturday, August 21, 2010
5:00 PM
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St. Timothy's Columbarium
1020 - 24th Street
West Des Moines, IA US 50265
Saturday, August 21, 2010


St. Timothy's Episcopal Church
1020 - 24th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk (Team Shirl's Pearls)
1730 - 28th Street
West Des Moines, IA US 50265