Shirley Leone (Driskell) Strand

 

Shirley Strand passed into Heaven on Sept. 29, 2018.

This gracious lady began her life in Shoshone, Idaho. Born on Feb. 28, 1931 at the home of E. G. and Erma Leone (Clinger) Driskell. 

Her early days were spent playing among the sagebrush, tending the garden and swimming in Wood River. 

After completing high school, Shirley sought employment to cover college expense. She chose to forego a tour of Europe and focus on her education. Work at the local office of Idaho Power Co. was her choice.

In 1949, Shirley enrolled at Idaho State College, pledged to Alpha Chi Omega and gained employment on campus and at Idaho Power. Her focus was in food studies and its preparation. 

Her interests led to the study of fashion design and  application. 

As a typical college student, Shirley found ways to socialize through her sorority’s exchanges with campus fraternities. It’s there she remembered a casual contact and sensed encouragement.  Soon to follow were meetings at the library and contact at her dormitory during meal service.  Thus began a bond between Shirley and Harvey Strand, a relationship lasting 65 years.

Upon graduation in 1953, Shirley and Harvey married. Their first dwelling was a tent in the forests of northern Idaho. She plied her skills in quantity cookery to feed 125 hungry college men who worked in the hills.  

Leaving behind the open skies of central Idaho and the forests in north Idaho, her next dwelling was (an apartment) in a major city and employment as a teller at a savings and loan in downtown Seattle.  

The next challenge was adapting to a transit bus system. One clear morning on the way to downtown, Shirley stood up, viewed the snow covered Cascades saying, “look, the mountains are out!” revealing she’s a newcomer.

Shirley’s first home was purchased by her husband while she remained in California with her children.  Confirmation for the purchase was made when her request was honored, “Does that house have sidewalks?” 

Shirley was a loving mother, delighted in serving food to family or friend, enjoyed church gatherings where she and friends prepared food for fellowship dinners.  Bible Study Fellowship was central to her life along with the Girl Scouts. She would take them camping and hiking. 

Having the heart of a Servant, she gave thought to others often before considering needs of her own. 

When relocation of refugee families to the U.S. provided an opportunity for Shirley and others to sponsor a large family, she took a family into her home, transported them and “mothered, as needed.”  She saw everyone as a friend, enjoying their company. 

She wasn’t one for being part of a group unless it involved fabrics and quilting. Sensing the needs within a family, Shirley proposed a sewing class for young girls, imparting skills for a lifetime. 

Another witness to her kindness was that she complemented others and gave repeated words of encouragement. 

In retirement, after living 40 years in the West side of the Cascades, the East side beckoned. Having earlier made an inroad for relocating, this movement was made with heartache followed by a blossoming with a new location and new friends. Shirley thrilled at seeing snow fall, delighted in clearing walk-ways, playing in the snow just as in her childhood. 

In the East, Shirley had her most prolific period of designing and assembling quilts. She felt there was Love in every stitch, quilts mostly made for others, family and persons in need. Her quilts were hand stitched until her last years when she began working with an artistic machine quilter. 

A quilt was never sold, just given with Love. An exception was made for a quilt designed and constructed for an auction to benefit Cascade Medical Center Foundation. 

Issues of health began to control her life. Bible study and church affiliations fluctuated as a result; however, the desire to maintain her relationship to the Lord never faltered. 

After extended care at home, she left her view of the Wenatchee River and spent her last days under the care of Mountain Meadows, Memory Care. 

Shirley was a lovely lady, gracious and kind. She is survived by her spouse, daughters Sandra (James) Thomas, Karen Strand (Ralph Tindell) and son Roger (Anne) Strand. 

She was blessed by four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  Survived by brothers Byron Driskell, Richard Driskell and sister Annette Bunce, predeceased by brother Thomas Driskell. 

A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church in Leavenworth, Washington on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.

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