Obituary: Shirley (Mahr) Burmester

Shirley (Mahr) Burmester, 96 of Reedsburg, passed away peacefully, Friday, August 11, 2023 (one day short of her 97th birthday) at the Sauk County Health Care Center surrounded by her loving family. She was born August 12, 1926 in Hillsboro, daughter of William and Helen (Vodak) Mahr.

She was united in marriage to William C. Burmester in 1949. Shirley was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Reedsburg where she taught Sunday School for 13 years and started a Sunday School class for special needs children. She graduated from Reedsburg Area High School in 1944. She went to work for Erickson Dental Office in Reedsburg. Later she was employed at Schmitt’s Shoes for 23 years. After retirement she worked a few part time jobs. She served on the church council and was very active in Girl Scouts and the Block Grant committee for many years.

Shirley had a wide range of interests and hobbies that brought her much happiness. She especially enjoyed quilting and sewing. Gardening was another passion as she found fulfillment in nurturing her plants and flowers. She spent many hours in the kitchen canning what her gardens produced and also was an excellent cook. Reading was also her favorite pastime and spending time at the library. Shirley helped plan the class reunions for the class of 1944 and loved getting together for those reunions. She loved to travel and spend time with her grandchildren.

Survivors include her children, Steve (Mary) Burmester, Roxanne (Jack) Roloff, Lori (Robert) Gavin; grandchildren, Kyle and Kali Burmester, Beth (Matt) Hamacher, Nate (Sara) Roloff, Jim (Jenni) Gavin, Matt Gavin; great grandchildren, Ella and Jack, Graham and Hattie, Beau, Claire and Ava; sister-in-law Janet Mahr, as well as other family and friends. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband William Burmester; parents William and Helen Mahr; brothers Billy Mahr, Doug Mahr, Donald Mahr; sister Ardene Montgomery; along with sister-in-law Jeneane Mahr and brother-in-law Jim Montgomery.

A private service will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Sauk County Health Care Center Activities Department, Reedsburg Public Library, or St. John’s Lutheran Church. Online condolences may be made at Grasse Funeral & Cremation Service in Reedsburg is serving the family.