Helen Shirley Macy was born on Jan 24, 1932 on a home-stead farm near Vermillion, SD, in the downstairs unheated bedroom during a cold winter. Her parents, Benjamin Harrison and Alice Lenore Macy, were delighted to welcome a girl to join their two boys, Elwood and Lowell. In 1938, her mother died and Shirley went to live at her aunt’s home in Vermillion. She attended Vermillion public schools until she moved back to the farm in 1942. She started working Saturdays at Newberrys for 25 cents an hour in 1944 while in the 7th grade. She attended country school with outside biffies and no central heat, graduating from country school in 1946 and then attending Vermillion High School graduating in 1950. She played the French horn (first chair) and was in marching band and a state officer in Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF). She graduated Cum Laude from the University of South Dakota with an elementary education degree. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.
Shirley married Jack Berry in 1953 in Vermillion. She taught school in Vermillion and in California while Jack attended medical school and residency training through the service. They lived in Vermillion SD, Los Angeles CA, St Paul MN, Ellsworth Air Force Base in SD, Albert Lea MN before settling in Mitchell, SD in 1961. Three children were born to their marriage: Scott Harrison Berry, Spencer Douglas Berry, and Lisa Lenore Berry. Shirley LOVED being a Mom and later a grandmother and great grandmother. They were married 40 years. Following the divorce, a high school boyfriend, Don Boyd, reentered her life and became a regular companion and provided much joy and laughter to the end of her life.
Shirley loved God and enjoyed serving God through church and other community organizations. She had a special gift of hospitality and entertaining with attention to detail that many were able to enjoy whether she used it for family gatherings, friends, clubs and organizations, and whenever called upon to serve. Shirley loved attending her kid’s and grandkid’s activities and also DWU and MHS games. She was a member and served at the United Methodist church. She enjoyed fellowship in organizations and clubs – Knit Wits, PEO (50 year member), ceramics, Round Table, 20th Century Study club, Methodist Hospital Auxiliary (bazaar annually), coffee at Sunshine, and birthday club. She was a Republican Party volunteer and always kept up on politics. She enjoyed learning and study. Shirley also won many awards through Toastmasters and often gave programs for the clubs she belonged to. She ran a small specialty sewing shop, The Rainbow Shop, for many years.
Shirley enjoyed family vacations to Florida, California, and annual visit to northern Minnesota. She also enjoyed “tramping in the hills” near her cabin. She loved and cared for several dogs and cats through the years.
Health issues provided many challenges in later years but she was content being home bound with a variety of dedicated caregivers and loved the regular visits of friends and family. She was entertained by squirrels and birds in her yard and beauty of her garden. She passed away on Thursday Sept 13 at her home.
Shirley is survived by her children: Dr. Scott (Pam) Berry of Aberdeen, SD, Dr. Spencer (Marilyn Wiblemo) Berry of Fargo, ND, Lisa (Dr Brad) Paulson of Sioux Falls, SD; Grandchildren: TJ Berry, Christina (Chris) Spieker, Andrew (Jeanny) Berry, and Robert Berry; Matthew (Stephanie) Berry, Elizabeth (Jareb) Raan, Collin (Julie) Berry, and Ryan Berry; Dan, Nate, and Scott Paulson; Great grandchildren Amira, Gabriel, Gunnar, Michael, and Ezekiel Berry; Daxton, Alexa, and Farrah Raan, Jack and Corbin Spieker.; her brother Lowell (Jill) Macy of Vermillion, sister in law Lenette Macy of Sioux Falls and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceeded in death by her parents Harry and Lenore Macy, and her brother, Elwood Macy.
Memorial: Ingathering for local and regional hunger (www.mitchellfumc.org) or Mitchell Lovefeast.