Shirley Daunita (Gill) Hielscher of Holyoke passed away Sunday March 20, 2022, in Sterling, CO at the age of 85. Shirley was born in Dover Colorado on June 26, 1936, to Wilbur and Sarah (Davis) Gill. Shirley, along with her brothers Rod and Scott and Sister Barb grew up along the tracks of the Denver and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad. They lived in Frazier, East Portal, Nederland, Rollinsville, Tabernash, Pueblo, Grand Junction and Helper Utah, wherever the duties of her father as Roadmaster took them. She had loved telling tales of their adventures growing up along the tracks and one room schoolhouses. She had a love of math, science, dance and performing in school plays. Shirley graduated from Carbon High School in Price UT in 1954.
Shirley met her husband, Earl Hielscher while visiting with her aunt & uncle, Pauline and Ralph Ayers in Iliff CO. They married on August 28, 1954, in Denver CO. She worked alongside her husband in farming in the Iliff area from 1954-1976 when they moved to Holyoke CO to continue farming from 1976-2000 when their son Rich took over the hard labor for them. During this time, they raised 6 kids. Shirley loved attending all the junior high and high school football, basketball, wrestling, concerts and especially Victoria’s school plays. Then came the love of playing with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She said, “the more noise we made the happier we were”.
During her spare time, she enjoyed gardening and canning. She was famous in our family for her homemade donuts, Christmas candies and always had a house full for the holidays. One of Shirley’s greatest loves was walking, and she could always be seen walking through the town of Holyoke. Shirley also volunteered at the nursing home in Holyoke, with Awanas at her church and at Mesa Verde National Park. In her later years she developed a love of travel going horseback riding in Alaska, swimming with stingrays in Antigua, whale watching and hiking at Kilauea volcano in Hawaii and all the national parks.
Shirley is survived by her sister Barb Gill of Weaver, AL; Sons Richard (Gail) Hielscher, Gordon (Misty) of Holyoke: Jim (Kim) Hielscher of Greeley, Dennis (Deb) of Sterling; daughters Victoria Hielscher of Euless, TX; Cindy Hielscher of Holyoke; 10 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren, 4 step grandchildren, and 27 step great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Earl; parents Wilbur and Sarah; brothers Roderic Gill and Scott Gill; Grandson Brett Hielscher; step grandson Matt Whaley.
Memorial service will be held March 28, 2022, at First Baptist Church in Holyoke at 10am. Private family inurnment will be held at a later date.
Baucke Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
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