Shirley Doolittle (Gabert, Filbrandt, Degeorgio), 83, passed away Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, at Seasons of Life Hospice House in Woodruff.
Shirley was born in 1929 in Rockford, Ill., and is preceded in death by her parents Syd and Rosabel Doolittle.
At the age of 17 months, Shirley moved with her family to her grandfather’s resort, Evergreen Lodge, in Boulder Junction. She then moved to Resort of the Woods in Boulder Junction in 1934, which the family purchased later that year.
She attended Boulder Junction Grade School and Eagle River Union High School, where in addition to being a dedicated student, she was involved in many activities, including being first a reporter and then editor of the school paper and co-editor of the 1948 yearbook. She played the oboe in the school band and orchestra; was junior prom decorating chairman, enjoyed behind-the-scenes work on class floats, and stage preparation work for the class play, playing girls basketball, helping in the library, planning senior parties, etc.
She played piano music for the early Sunday School and then the church from age 12-32. She was active in the community, with church, children, youth programs and activities.
Starting in 1962, Shirley attended the University of Minnesota. She worked for three years with 7- 12 year-old children in the inner city, then moved to the Lake Minnetonka area west of the Twin Cities. There she and her husband, Mike, created, directed and worked with pre-school children, involving 150-180 families annually in Stubbs Bay Child Development Center, an innovative child development program. This also brought an opportunity to teach other area teachers, through classes and shared experiences.
Always happy with teaching and with children, Shirley had six children and was a full-time mom.
Children with William Gabert of Minocqua: Julie Williams (Robert) of Bertrand, Neb., Bill Gabert (Marilyn) of Boulder Junction, Karen (deceased) and Mark Cuff of Manitowish Waters, and Kathy Thom (Dave) of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Children with Mike Filbrandt of Wayzata, Minn.: Greg Filbrandt of Osseo, Minn., and Mark Filbrandt of Minnesota.
Shirley is also survived by four grandchildren, Caleb and Jay Nichols of Colorado, and Tyler and Dustin Gabert of Ohio and Minnesota.
Shirley has one sister, Phyllis Luethy (Robert), of Waterford.
Late in life, Shirley returned to Boulder Junction and dedicated much of three years to writing a tribute to the early local settlers for their great legacy, and in gathering and preserving the early history of this community in the book, “Boulder Junction, The Early Years.” She also created displays, a photo gallery, photo boards for annual history celebrations and for the historical photo gallery and started pioneer family books. She has put together individual copies of an extensive collection of spiritual words of wisdom and insights for her family and close friends and was working on a life story.
Since a young child, Shirley has very quietly and often anonymously shown hundreds of gestures of very personal caring and concern to individual people and situations, especially needs unnoticed by others, often multiplied and passed on.
Shirley loved nature, sports, the outdoors, reading, activities, music, piano, creativity, and writing.
Memorial service arrangements are pending and will be publicized at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Boulder Junction Community Church, c/o Bill Gabert Jr., P.O. Box 323, Boulder Junction, WI 54512.
Bolger Funeral and Cremation Services of Minocqua and Woodruff is handling the arrangements, 715-356-3200.
Online condolences may be shared at www.bolgerfuneral.com