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SHIRLEY MARY BOLYARD, of Kenosha, WI
“If I were a squirrel in a tree,
I’d eat Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, for you see,
They’re crisp and crunchy as they can be,
And I’m going to hide them just for me.”
A poem our mother composed years ago, trying to win a contest sponsored by Kellogg’s. She didn’t, but we still think it was a winner! Eat your heart out, Kellogg’s!
Shirley passed into the arms of our Lord on the evening of January 2nd, 2017, at St. Joseph’s Convalescent Center in Kenosha, WI. Shirley was born July 5, 1925, in Wheaton, Minnesota, the first of five children for Nick and Mamie Gaulrapp. After a time, the family moved to Breckenridge, Minnesota, where Shirley graduated from high school. Soon after, she married her high school sweetheart, Donald K. Bolyard. Donald was heading off to fight in the Pacific Theatre in World War II. During the next 18 years, they had 13 children. Providing for such a large family was difficult, but Shirley devoted her life to it; she became quite the seamstress, sewing and repairing clothes that were passed down among the children and finding ways to earn a little extra money in her “spare” time after cooking, cleaning, sewing and mothering. She became quite the World Book Encyclopedia salesperson; her children believe Maple Lake probably still has more encyclopedias per capita than any place in the nation. And Shirley could really pinch a penny—she had to. She also had a green thumb and planted and harvested a garden for many years. Unfortunately, she had this thing for kohlrabi—some say it’s even edible. Finally, she could also draw, and many were the paper dolls she drew for us to play with. Shirley lived in many different towns, i.e. Grand Forks, ND, Breckenridge, MN, Fergus Falls, MN, San Luis Obispo, CA, Hallock, MN, and Maple Lake, MN where the first four of her children graduated from high school and headed off to college. She finally settled in Kenosha, WI where she lived for 50 years. Her husband, Donald, was the assistant principal at Bradford High School, where she attended many events, (many at Tremper High) watching her beloved children and grandchildren participate in various athletic and musical endeavors. She was very proud of her children’s accomplishments. After she launched her last child into first grade, she decided it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. She received her LPN designation from Kenosha Technical Institute in 1969, and then continued to work as an LPN at Kenosha Memorial Hospital for the rest of her career. Fittingly, she loved her work most as a labor and delivery nurse.After her husband retired, they spent much time traveling. In later years, they wintered mainly in Corpus Christi, TX, and Phoenix, AZ. Their 23 grandchildren were frequently the beneficiary of their many travels, often accompanying them. The grandchildren remember that with some hilarity. She was blessed with a lovely singing voice, often performing in public from the age of 3 and on. She was a devout Roman Catholic, having attended parochial school at St Mary’s in Breckenridge through the eighth grade. She was preceded in death by her parents, 3 siblings, her husband, Donald, her son, Michael and her grandson, David. She is survived by her children Diane (Leo) Oas, Marshall (Eva) Bolyard, Lee (Cathie) Bolyard, Karen (Ron) Foster, David (Vicki) Bolyard, Kathryn (Jack) Marchwick, Donald (Ruth) Bolyard, Timothy (Kim) Bolyard, Richard (Sue) Bolyard, Colleen Bolyard, Cynthia (Otis) Moore and Kevin (Mary) Bolyard. She also leaves behind her brother, Nick Gaulrapp, 22 grandchildren, and a multitude of great-grandchildren. She was a woman of strong faith, believing in the power and strength of Jesus Christ’s love, and the beauty and peace that would await her after her passing. She will be missed by so many. Shirley’s family would like to thank all those at St. Joseph’s Convalescent Center for their excellent care of our mother. Condolences may be sent to 4218 Harding Road, Kenosha, WI 53142. Donations may be made to St. Joseph’s Convalescent Home and Rehab Center at 9244 29th Ave., Kenosha, WI, 53140, in Shirley’s name. Memorial Mass to be held at St. James Catholic Church, Kenosha, WI., Friday, February 3rd, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. Funeral services will be held in St. Peter's Catholic Church in Mendota Heights at 11:00 a.m. on April 28th, 2017. Interment at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis to follow.