Shirley A. Finken, 94


Shirley Ann (Dale) Finken, age 94+ years, passed away Friday, March 29, 2024, at her home in Beebeetown.

Shirley was born on Dec. 8, 1929, in Missouri Valley, Iowa to Alvin B C Dale and Neva Faye (Williams) Dale. She had a brother, William, born Jan. 30, 1928, who lived only a few days, so Shirley was surrounded and loved by many adults in the Dale and Williams families.

She attended Missouri Valley Community Schools and graduated with the class of 1947. She played basketball and was part of a team that excelled. During and after school she had jobs at the movie theater, bank, and eventually the telephone office which would become her lifelong career.

She joined a bowling league at the Tamarack and one fateful night when she ripped her pants a special red-headed guy from Beebeetown offered to give her a ride home. She didn’t introduce him to her parents because it was just a kind gesture! However, the relationship evolved, and Shirley was united in marriage to Lynn C Finken on Nov. 18, 1951, at St Paul Lutheran Church in Missouri Valley. Shirley had always wanted to marry a farmer and live in the country even though she did not know how to cook or sew or garden!

Shirley and Lynn had three children: Denny, Deb and Dave. Life was busy with raising children and learning to do all the things a farm wife did to support the work of the farm. Lynn’s mother, Mabel, took Shirley under her wing and taught her how to patch jeans, freeze sweet corn, and fix a meal that would feed a very hungry crew of hay men. As the children grew and became involved in activities, Shirley was an avid supporter of everything they did, especially wrestling (you might be “elbowed” if you sat next to her in the stands) and making sure Deb had lessons to learn to sew.

Shirley went to work for AT&T as an operator in Omaha when the children were grown and had over 25 years of service when she retired. She became more involved in the farming operation as the years went by and when the barn on Lynn’s home place needed restored, she made that project successful and became involved with the Iowa Barn Foundation showcasing the barn for many years on the annual barn tour.

Shirley loved nothing better than to host family and friends with a wonderful meal around her big table: her roast beef dinner and apple pies are so memorable! She spent hours and hours with her grandchildren on the farm teaching them to love being in the country spending time outdoors. Her lawn was always beautiful and the hours she spent on the John Deere made her so happy.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Lynn (married 63 years) on Jan. 10, 2015; and her son, Denny on June 15, 2023.

She is survived by her daughter in-law, Mary Ann Finken; daughter, Deb Heim(Keith); and son Dave Finken (Jan); her grandchildren, Bradon Fullerton, Nathan Fullerton (Lindsey), Aaron Finken (Rachel), Anee Fullerton, Lindsey Dickson (Andrew), Jennifer Heim (Ryan), Jessica Heim (Kyle) Molly Heim (Ari), Todd Heim (Gabe), Taylor Finken, Jake Finken, Kyle Finken; and her great-grandchildren, Kaleb Fullerton, Jaxson Fullerton, Gracyn Fullerton, Ledger Fullerton, Beckett Fullerton, Noah Finken, Collette Finken, Ryan Dickson, Perry Dickson, Hazel Heim-Lawler, Neva Ryan, Winston Ryan, and Frances Heim.

Shirley had one wish and that was to stay in her own home. Our thanks to Jeanette Kenealy, who was her daily caregiver and lifelong friend, for all she did and her husband Denny for being there EVERY day. Thank you to the entire team from Myrtue Memorial Hospice, especially nurse Katie Klein who gave exceptional care over the past year. Thanks to HCAN and all the care providers who came to the home since January. When we received news of Denny’s death, we needed to let mom know before someone called her or she saw it on social media. Only one person could do that, and it was Shirley’s “second daughter” Becky (Beebee) Paar. She held her hand and shared the news and stayed with her all day until family arrived. We are beyond grateful for this kindness.

Memorials may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church or the Beebeetown Little League baseball program.

Funeral Service was held April 6, 2024, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Missouri Valley.

Arrangements made by Hennessey Funeral Home.