April 24, 1933 – October 2, 2022
Shirley Ann Aeschliman Isaak was born to John and Katharine Aeschliman in Colfax, WA. She grew up on the farm in the rolling hills of grain fields of the Palouse with her three siblings, John, Karen and Eleanor. She attended school in Colfax and upon graduation attended Whitworth College in Spokane, WA; then Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, earning her RN degree. While still in high school she attended a church conference where she met her future husband, Harold Isaak. They corresponded back and forth while she was still attending college, and at the request of her father, finished her schooling prior to getting married.
They were married in October of 1955 and lived on the Toevs’ homestead that Harold had purchased upon returning from Korea. They raised their four children, Cheryl, Charles, Elaine and Tina on the dairy farm as Shirley was working as an RN in American Falls at the hospital. Years later, Shirley worked for the Southeastern District Health Department as a Home Health nurse, then finally as a Hospice Nurse. She cared for many, many patients over the years throughout the area, with her gift of compassion for those in need.
Shirley was quite involved in various church activities and for many years sang in a ladies trio with Arlene Brown, Marilyn Horsch and Vera Hiebert. She was also involved in a mixed quartet consisting of Frank and Vera Hiebert and Harold. They provided much gospel music over the years for different occasions and churches. She loved to sing. That singing was also passed down to her children.
In addition to her nursing career, Shirley planted a garden and took pride in the flowers in her yard. She was an accomplished homemaker, as she did a lot of canning and freezing of produce from her garden. Shirley was an avid seamstress as well and taught all her children how to sew. In the early 1960’s until the early 1980’s she was also involved in the bottling and selling of raw milk from the dairy.
Upon her retirement, Harold and Shirley did some traveling, visiting friends and family across the states, as well as traveling to Europe, in particular where her father’s family came from in Switzerland.
Following Harold’s passing in 2009, Shirley remained on the farm for a couple of years and then moved to town until it was evident she couldn’t live by herself any longer. In 2013 she moved to Country Time Assisted Living in Star, ID, where she was closer to her oldest daughter, Cheryl. She was the longest living resident there at the time of her death.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, John and Katharine; her husband, Harold and stillborn son, Robert. She is survived by her three siblings, John Aeschliman, Karen Goodrich and Eleanor Huber. She is also survived by her four children, Cheryl Keshian (Tosch), Middleton, ID; Charles Isaak (Danice), Moscow, ID; Elaine Blik (Joel) Aberdeen and Tina Webb (Russell), Medicine Hat, AB Canada. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank those faithful friends and family of Shirley’s during the past nine years for the visits and calls made to her. Vera Hiebert, specifically for the close friendship for her life here in Idaho, who was a loyal friend of hers to the end.
To the staff at Country Time Assisted Living in Star, the family would like to thank you for the care and kindness extended to Shirley over the nine years she lived there. It was like home to her and she loved living there. The family is also grateful to Drs. Hospice Care out of Boise, for the kind care given the past few months.
A celebration of life for Shirley will be held on Friday, Nov. 4, at 11 a.m. at the First Mennonite Church in Aberdeen, ID. Her final resting place will be next to Harold at the Homestead Cemetery west of Aberdeen. Following the graveside service, a luncheon will be held in the Fellowship Hall of the Mennonite Church where everyone is welcome to join the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Aberdeen Senior Center or Gideons International, which was close to Shirley’s heart.
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