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Shirley Sweeney

Edna Shirley Sweeney, daughter of Charles William and Blanche Lucille (Vangorp) Lehmkuhl, was born November 22, 1924 in Percy, Iowa. Shirley graduated from Mitchellville High School in 1942.

Shirley had an adventurous spirit about her that her grandchildren think she passed onto them by listening to her stories; whether riding her pony to country school; driving her aunt & uncle to Chicago as a young teenager; quitting her Des Moines office job to help put the crops in on the farm; or moving to Los Angeles to work during World War II.

On June 12, 1948, she married Hal Sweeney at her parent's farm home in rural Mitchellville. Shirley and Hal lived their first years of married life on the Sweeney family farm of rural Runnells. In 1957, they bought and moved to a farm near Truro, Iowa where they raised their family. In 1999, they retired and built a home in Mount Ayr.

Shirley enjoyed meeting new friends, as she always kept faithful to her old friends. She was so happy to join a bridge club and antique club in Mount Ayr, and loved being hostess.

Shirley was a wonderful homemaker and a loving and supportive farm wife. She was always very resourceful! She did what was needed to be done with what she had. She perfected being a wonderful cook, canner, seamstress, decorator, gardener, and hostess. She also loved socializing and having fun after the work was done.

Shirley also enjoyed many years of buying, restoring, and selling antiques. Her knowledge of antiques has been shared and passed on to many family members and friends.

She was a member of the Altoona Christian Church and attended the Mount Ayr First Christian Church the past 17 years.
Family was so important to Shirley! She loved her cousins she grew up with, and her and Hal's nieces and nephews who came for visits. She loved having the grandkids come to the farm. Shirley loved playing cards and games and was quite competitive. She had an attic full of "treasures" for kids and enjoyed children's plays and dress-up.

Shirley was very proud and enthusiastic of her and Hal's heritage; especially her Dutch ancestry. Her great great Vangorp grandparents were original settlers of Pella, IA, coming over from Holland on their honeymoon in 1849.

Shirley passed away at Clearview Home in Mount Ayr on August 9, 2016.

Survivors include her children Becky Jones of Winterset, Brad (Quendy) Sweeney of Truro, and Julie (Joe) Routh of Mount Ayr; grandchildren Gretchen (Mike) Heffernan, Shannon Sweeney, Kelli Sweeney, Nathan (Courtney) Sweeney, Katie (Logan) Porter, Tricia (Jeff) Uitermarkt, Matt (Katie) Routh; great grandchildren Eddie & Ayla Heffernan, Devon & Blake Beener, Tannah, Kyla, Madeline Sweeney, Raylan Hal Porter, Decker, Grady, & Ruby Uitermarkt, Claire, Nash & Libby Routh; step-grandchildren Joey & Josh Whitney; brother Bill Lehmkuhl; sister-in-law Marilyn Sweeney; host of relatives and friends.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; husband Hal Sweeney; parents-in-law Earl & Mildred Sweeney; sisters-in-law Priscilla Lehmkuhl, Dorothy Martin, Jean Kirschner, Libby Carroll, Emma Sweeney, Jewel Sweeney, and Betty Sweeney; brothers-in-law Herb Sweeney, Dan Sweeney, Dave Sweeney, Jim Sweeney, Al Martin, Hans Kirschner, and Kenneth Carroll.

Service Date: August 14, 2016

Services: 2:00 p.m. ~ Sunday, August 14, 2016
Armstrong Funeral Home - Mount Ayr
Officiating: Pastor Bill Armstrong
Open Viewing: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Saturday., Aug 13
Family Present: 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm, Sunday, Aug 14
Armstrong Funeral Home
Burial: Altoona Cemetery - Altoona, IA
5:00 p.m. - Sunday, August 14
Memorials: First Christian Church - Mount Ayr

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Sweeney, please visit our flower store.


Here are a couple of pictures you may enjoy

Betsy Kirkland Aug 13 2016 12:00 AM

Remembering this sweet special lady and thinking of you all in your loss. I always thought of Shirley as another "aunt". My mother Geraldine and she grew up as sister cousins sharing adventures, secrets, laughter and love. Her spirit, kindness, common sense, and giving nature will always stand out in my thoughts of her. Becky, Brad, and Julie my prayers are with you all as your Mama joins her loved ones in Glory. "Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted"

Betsy and Chuck Kirkland Aug 13 2016 12:00 AM

Dave and I sending to prayers to all your family. We have so many great memories of all of you. Shirley and I really had some fun times together. Dave and Connie Frey

Connie Frey Aug 13 2016 12:00 AM

Dean and I were sorry to learn of Shirley's passing. We always enjoyed our times together when we lived in Truro. Our sympahy to Brad, Becky and Julie and their families. We will keep all of you in ourprayers.

Dean & Twila Brant Aug 12 2016 12:00 AM

Dean and I were so sorry to learn of Shirley\'s passing. She was a sweet lady and I always loved to visit with her and Hal in their home in Truro. I loved to see her antiques since I grew up with antiques with my own mother. We send our love, prayers and sympathy to Brad, Julie and Becky and their families. Please find some comfort knowing you have friends who care and will be praying for you. Dean & Mary Lou Parker

Dean & Mary Lou Parker Aug 12 2016 12:00 AM

Aunt Shirley--- Best aunt ever! Always there with love and support and wisdom to talk about things that only we understood. Some of my best memories come from summers at your house in Iowa...some of few times I got to hang out with the girls and have fun. You and Uncle Half always made me feel welcome and loved. Now you can go be with the angels , Uncle Hal , Nanny and Pampa. Watch over us from heaven. I will think of you often when I get an ant bite ( you know) , when I see a firefly or some rhubarb, frog legs,sweet corn or grits or my beautiful wedding glasses you gave me. Remember our saying...' Shirley goodness and Marcie will follow you all the days of your lives' HaHa. I will truly miss our talks but have your precious memories always in my heart. Rest in peace, you are free now, no more pain. Watch over all us from above. Be our angel. You will always have a special place in my heart. See you again. Peace to you and your family. I will always miss you ' till we meet again. Heavenly Hugs. Love your niece.

Marcie Lehmkuhl Aug 11 2016 12:00 AM