Shirley Narem Delouche

by Lynn McMillen
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 "Delouche"  Shirley Narem

Shirley Narem Delouche, November 21, 1933 – May 10, 2024

Shirley Delouche, 90, of Starkville, Mississippi, died at home on May 10, 2024, surrounded by her husband, Curt, and their two surviving children, Karen and Marcus. She was a woman of strong faith and is now enjoying eternal peace.

Shirley was born in Story City, Iowa, on November 21, 1933. She was the only child of John and Beatrice Narem. She spent her early childhood on a farm before moving to Webster City, Iowa. She attended Lincoln High School, where she participated in the band and made several lifelong friends. After graduating from Lincoln High in 1951, Shirley attended the Fairview School of Nursing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She worked hard, did well, made more close friends, but decided to change course after two years. She moved to Ames, Iowa, and started working in a laboratory on the campus of Iowa State University. There, she met and fell in love with Curt, and they began their life journey and 70-year marriage.

While her children were young and Curt was traveling the world as part of his career at Mississippi State University, Shirley devoted her life to her family. As Curt has recently acknowledged, “She managed our personal, social, and financial affairs in a timely and expert manner and kept our children moving forward on righteous paths.” After her children were grown, Shirley worked at the Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Laboratory for many years.

Shirley treasured her friends and extended family. During her years in Mississippi, she participated in a bowling league, bridge club, bunco club, and dance club. She kept up with old friends from Iowa by attending high school reunions, including her 60th in 2011. She also kept up with numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins by attending several Narem Cousins’ Reunions in South Dakota.

Shirley was an active member of the Mississippi State University Women’s Club for decades, serving as President during the 1975-1976 term. She was also an active and dedicated member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, where she contributed in many ways to the life of the church.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, John and Beatrice Narem, and her son, Michael Delouche, who died at 66 years of age on September 12, 2023. She is survived by her beloved husband of 70 years, Curt Delouche; her daughter, Karen (Steve) Gordon; her son, Marcus (Mary Daire) Delouche; her daughter-in-law, Mollie Delouche (Michael’s wife); nine grandchildren, Stephanie (Adam) Pflum, Jenny (Van) Thompson, Curtis (Lauren) Gordon, Cory (Heather) Delouche, Paige (John) Nemec, Christian (Liz) Delouche, Conroy (Maggie Menderski) Delouche, Jacques (Marie) Delouche, and Lainey (Jordan) Francis; ten great grandchildren, Ethan, Emma, Graham, Prentiss, James, Kiki, Mikey, Charlie Kay, Parker, and Anna Daire; and an expected eleventh great grandchild, Baby Gordon, due in late May.

On Mother’s Day of 2001, 23 years ago, Curt sent a beautiful photo of Shirley to their children, Karen, Michael, and Marcus. He had taken the photo in his garden. He wrote the following words to accompany the photo: “I could hardly believe that my rather hasty [photography] effort had captured so much of your Mother – and the lady I fell in love with so many years ago: beauty, a sort of beguiling smile, a bit of serenity, and a lot of love, sensitivity, and tenderness.” We all remember Shirley as a sweet, beautiful, loving, and giving woman.

The Funeral Mass will be held in Starkville, Mississippi, at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 10 am on Monday, May 20. Visitation will be held in the church prior to the service, beginning at 9:30 am, and a reception will follow the service in the church’s Parish Center.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Shirley’s name to St. Joseph Catholic Church, 607 University Drive, Starkville, Mississippi 39759, or to the charity of your choice.

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