Shirley Jean Karels, 80 of Bemidji died Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at Colleens Caring Hands in Bemidji.
Funeral Services will be 1:00 pm Monday, June 10, 2013 at the Crossroads Church in Bemidji with Pastor John Hubert officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Pine Grove Cemetery in Cass Lake. The Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji are handling the arrangements.
Shirley was born at home in Cass Lake, MN as Shirley Jean Westlund to Albert and Mable (Sather) Westlund on Nov. 28, 1932. She graduated Cass Lake high school & attended Miller Dwan Nursing School in Duluth. She met Sherman Chastek and they married May of 1953. Together they raised six children, their five and a daughter, Sharon, from Shermans first marriage.
After Shermans passing in July of 1969, she devoted herself to raising and providing for her children. She started working for Aw-Gwah-Ching nursing home in Walker in 1972 as an LPN and re-located to Walker in 1974. There she was very involved in the community, especially with BPW (Business and Professional Women).
She was reunited with a former sweetheart, Bill Karels, in 1991. She retired from Aw-Gwah-Ching and married Bill in May of 1992 at the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, Iowa. They lived at Bills house in Burt, Iowa where she was very involved with the Burt Presbyterian Church and in the community. They relocated to Bemidji in April of 2008. Due to health reasons they separated and later divorced in 2010. Shirley moved into Colleens Caring Hands of Bemidji later that year. She loved being there and greatly enjoyed the staff. The family would like to express their deep appreciation to Colleen and the staff for the excellent and personal care Shirley received there. She was well known for her cooking, especially her apple pies and loved holidays with all the familya tradition that continues to this day with her children and their extended families.
She is survived by her daughters Sheryl (Dennis) Riggs of Alida, and Sheree (Marvin) Hoie of Bagley, and sons Sherwin Harley Chastek, Sherwood Woody (Christine) Chastek both of Cass Lake, and Sheridan Dale (Rada) Chastek of Bemidji; brothers Clifford (Betty) & John (Cathy) Westlund of Cass Lake and sister Nancy (Jim) Foster of Mille Lacs. She has 9 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her husband Sherman, daughter Sharon, and stillborn son Sheldon; sisters Ethel (Ed) Theis, Dorothy (Allen) Russell, and brother, Robert (Sandy) Westlund and also by her second husband, Bill Karels of Burt, Iowa.
Casketbearers will be Kurt Thiemecke, Jr., Matt Hoie, Steve Hoie, Dave Kaiser, Gabe Quinn and Bill Ward.
Condolences may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.