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Shirley Loraina (Hein) Utke, 91, of Dalton, passed away Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at the Markesan Resident Home with family by her side.

Shirley was born April 28, 1927, to William and Sylvia (Bender) Hein. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Salemville. Shirley graduated from Cambria High School in 1945. She met her future husband, Carl G. Utke, at a dance in Fox Lake. Carl and Shirley were married on Oct. 20, 1946. After marrying, they moved to Dalton and lived in the house that Carl’s father had built. At that time, they joined Grace Lutheran Church in Dalton, where Shirley sang in the choir, taught Sunday school and was a member of the Ladies Aid. Carl and Shirley had three children, Rita, Dale and Deb.

Shirley was the bookkeeper for Utke Construction Company and an otherwise stay-at-home mom. She loved to garden and can and freeze the vegetables that she grew. In their younger days, Shirley and her cousin Lita would play music and entertain at house parties. In keeping with her love of music, Shirley was a longtime member of The Lake Aires Barbershop group where they sang in parades and entertained at nursing homes and at other events. When she was younger, Shirley enjoyed league bowling. She was also an active member of the Green Lake County Homemakers.

In 2011, after falling and breaking her wrist, she went to the Markesan Resident Home for rehabilitation. Shirley had a stroke while staying there and remained a resident there the last eight years. During the last few years, she had been in Anna’s House where she received excellent care from the many certified nursing assistants and nurses. They will always remember Shirley for the three sets of words she could say.

Shirley is survived by her daughters, Rita (Maynard) March of Markesan, and Debra (Larry) Weeden of Dalton; her daughter-in-law, YaVonne Utke of Dalton; granddaughter, Stephanie (John) Fox; and great-granddaughters, Taylor Fox and Katelyn Fox. She is also survived by her niece, Cindy (Ken) Burmania of Friesland; and nephews, John (Jeanne) Hein of California, and James (Lenita) Hein of Dalton. Shirley is further survived by cousins, other relatives and friends.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Carl on Nov. 21, 2010; her son Dale on Oct. 29, 2012; her brother and sister-in-law, Eugene and Edith Hein; and many other relatives and friends.

Visitation for Shirley will be from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Grace Lutheran Church, N796 Linden St., Dalton.

A funeral service for Shirley will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at church, with the Rev. John Hildebrant officiating. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery.

The Utke family would like to thank the staff at the Markesan Resident Home for their compassionate care for mom and for the Agnesian Hospice staff for their care during mom’s final days.

Markesan Community Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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