Ethel Whirry, age 97, of Spring Valley, died Saturday, December 28, 2019 at the Spring Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Funeral service is on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 11 a.m. at St John’s Lutheran Church, Spring Valley.
Visitation will be on Friday, January 3, 2020 from 4-7 p.m. at St John’s Lutheran Church and on Saturday one hour prior to the service at church.
Burial will be in the church cemetery.
Ethel Anna Myrtle (Bemis) Whirry was born at home in Lucas Township, Dunn County, Wisonsin on February 5, 1922, to Glenn and Myrtle (Casper) Bemis. Ethel was the first of 11 children. Ethel was baptized at home in Knapp, Wisconsin and Confirmed at St. Mathews Lutheran Church Spring Valley, St. Croix County. She attended Knapp School, graduated 8th grade from Spring Valley School, then helped on the farm.
On July 27, 1941 Ethel was married to George Whirry in Hudson, WI. When George returned from service, they lived in Eau Claire, then moved to Spring Valley and raised five children.
She worked at Duffy’s Dry Cleaners in Spring Valley and was a long-time member of St John’s Lutheran Church. Ethel was a hard worker but was also full of fun. She loved to fish, color with the grandchildren and was also known to join the kids in a game of ball. She was a very good seamstress, making lots of Barbie doll clothes for her girls and granddaughters.
Ethel was a member of the Spring Valley Legion Auxiliary and sold poppies for Veterans Day. She was a ground observer, identifying friendly and enemy planes from 1949 to 1959. She was acknowledged by the Government and awarded a certificate and set of wings. The certificate from the United States Air Force thanked her for her service and named her an Honorary Life Member of the U.S.A.F Air Defense Team. She was always very patriotic and watched her husband, brothers, all her sons, grandson and now great grandson service in the armed forces.
Ethel was a big Elvis fan. She loved photos of her family and friends and saved cards of special events in scrapbooks. Ethel enjoyed sending and receiving cards, never forgetting a birthday for every member of the family. For many years she made beautiful birthday cakes and wedding cakes, and her beautiful Gingerbread men every year for the grandchildren. Ethel’s greatest pleasure was spending time with her family.
Preceding her in death were her parents Glenn and Myrtle; step father John Hampton; husband George; brothers Louis, Robert and Marvin Bemis; sisters Betty Johnson and Arlene Judkins; her 2 beloved daughters: Lynette Whirry and Sharon Hofacker; daughter-in-law Mariann Madline Whirry; grandson Douglas; grandson-in-law Richard (Rick) Boardman; three brothers-in-law Dan Traynor, Don Johnson, and Derald Zimmer.
Survivors include: sons Larry (Jane), Calvin (Sue) and Dennis (Sue) all of Spring Valley; sisters Shirley Zimmer of Beloit; Margaret (Gerald) Neidermyer of River Falls; Darla (Howard) Nordine of Sauk Centre, MN; Laurene Traynor of Star prairie; sister-in-law Ann Bemis of Spring Valley; one brother Donald (Pat) Bemis of Osceola; son-in-law Jerome Hofacker; 12 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Pallbearers were Ethel’s Grandchildren: Miranda Whirry, Malissa Whirry, Kevin Whirry, Theresa Boardman, Tracey Boardman, Joseph Whirry, Brian Whirry, Jeremy Whirry, Kim Hofacker, Laurence Hofacker, Brenda Krogstad, and Debra Hofacker.
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