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Memories & Candles

“I'm sorry I couldn't get to the services, I've had a crisis in my own family that needed to be taken care of. Shirley was one of the nicest,sweetest...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: Lois Johnson-Christians - friend

“To Shirley's Family, So sorry to hear of her passing, Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.Becky Starkey Murray ”
2 of 10 | Posted by: Becky Murray - Graettinger, IA

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Shirley was a great lady. Always so friendly. She always made sure she said hi when she saw you. ...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Leo and Lou Domek - Estherville, IA

“To Shirley's family, I worked in Boone Jewelry for 24 years and when Shirley would come in we had the best visits. She was always upbeat and fun. ...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Julie Houseman Hansen - SD

“MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU IN THE LOSS OF SUCH A SPECIAL PERSON. ENJOY THE MEMORIES YOU HAVE. IRENE TIREVOLD ”
5 of 10 | Posted by: IRENE TIREVOLD - ESTHERVILLE, IA

“Dean and I are praying for you all to have strength. May your mom rest in peace!!!! ”
6 of 10 | Posted by: Denise Christensen - Estherville , IA

“To Shirley's family, Was so very sad to hear of Shirley's passing. We were good friends and classmates at Graettinger High. Shirley always had a...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Donna Elbert Jensen - Ringsted, IA

“Our condolences to the Nelson families.Shirley will be missed by many.She was a wonderful person.My God wrap his arms around you and hold you close...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: Tam - Friend

“Terry and Synova and family: So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Cherish the many happy...Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Janeice (Blighton) Geitzenauer - IA

“The life journey of Shirley has spread out and touched the lives of many. Her inspiration and determination in life drifted out to all of us like...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Carolyn and John Walz - Friend


In lieu of flowers Shirley's family prefers memorials.

Shirley Faye Bonstead, the daughter of Gerald and Inez (Paulsen) Bonstead, was born February 10, 1942, at Iowa and passed away on August 10, 2012, at her home after a long battle of cancer at the age 70 years and 6 months.

Shirley graduated from Graettinger in 1959 and attended ILCC. She has lived in the area all her life. On August 4, 1962, Shirley was united in marriage to Clarence Junior Nelson. Mr. Nelson passed away in January, 1969.

Shirley spent several years working for Fareway before taking a profession in the eye care field. She worked for over 30 years for several optometrists in Estherville. Shirley was an active member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church and spent many years participating and supporting Emmet County Relay for Life. She enjoyed the company of her children, grandchildren, family and close friends. Her hobbies included her backyard, scrapbooking, vacationing and watching her grandchildren play sports. She will be remembered by many for her loving smile and unforgettable hugs.

Shirley is survived by her children, Terry Nelson and his special friend Candice Ommen of Fulda, Minnesota, Synova Nelson and her significant other John Retzlaff of New Ulm, Minnesota; ten grandchildren, three brothers, Gary and Joan Bonstead, Paul and La Jay Bonstead, Steve and Cathleen Bonstead.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband CJ, infant daughter Wendy, her sister Ione, and brother Ronald.

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