Cover photo for Shirley Saaranen's Obituary
Shirley Saaranen Profile Photo
Shirley

Shirley Saaranen

d. April 9, 2018

Shirley Marie (Hanson) Saaranen, age 86, passed away Monday, April 9th, 2018 at Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin, MN, surrounded by her children. Shirley was born, July 3rd, 1931 in Newry Township, MN, to Archie and Hattie (Braaten) Hanson. She grew up in Austin and graduated from Austin High School on June 2nd, 1949. On July 31st, 1954, she was married to Gordon M. Saaranen at St Olaf Lutheran Church, in Austin, MN. She was employed by George A. Hormel and Company for 30 years, retiring in 1983. She and Gordie moved to the Saaranen family farm on Lake Poinsett, SD, where they lived fully for 10 years. In 1996 they moved to St. Ansgar, IA, where they lived until Gordie’s death in October of 2004 after 50 years of marriage. Shirley then returned to Austin, where she resided until her death. Shirley thrived on spending time with her family. She was an avid reader, and known for her crocheting, holiday turkey dinners and holiday decorating. Her children, grandchildren and many others, share fond memories of playing cards, games and classic Nintendo with her. Her children feel blessed to have grown up in a joyful home, with unconditional love, which provided the feel of a second home to many of their friends. She is survived by her children Jennifer Saaranen (Jim Huebner), Karen Baldridge, Carol Jean (Dan) Thomas, Fred (Kay) Saaranen, Tim Saaranen (Christy Upchurch); grandchildren Chad (Rachel) Thomas, Sarah Unverzagt, Amanda (Shannon) Schulz, Sam (Bret) Wierson, Michael Saaranen, Elliott Baldridge, Jenna Baldridge, Rachel Saaranen, Megan Saaranen, Kyle Upchurch; great-grand children Dillon, Conner and Charlie Thomas, Scarlett, Brock and Quinn Schulz, Violet, Archie and Henry Wierson; sister-in-law, Lucy Hanson; special nephews, Frank (Nancy) Saaranen, Bob (Nola) Saaranen, Melody Scheffel-Saaranen-Schrag. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gordie Saaranen; her parents; three sisters; Hen (Dan) Greenameyer, Katie (Don Sr.) Burgess, and Millie (Doug Sr.) Saaranen; three brothers; John (Addie), Archie (Edith), and Harry Hanson; special nephew Doug Saaranen; grandson Luke Unverzagt. “In lieu of flowers Shirley would love a donation in her honor, to the Hormel Institute-Breast Cancer Research, Austin MN”. A Funeral Service will be held Monday April 16, 2018 11:00 am at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Friends may call Sunday April 15, 2-4 pm at Mayer Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery. Condolence may be online at www.mayerfh.com

Service Information


Cemetery

Oakwood Cemetery
1800 4 St. NW
Austin MN 55912


Visitation

Sunday, April 15 2018
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Mayer Funeral Home
600 2nd Street NW P.O. Box 27
Austin MN 55912


Visitation

Monday, April 16 2018
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Saint Olaf Lutheran Church
306 2nd Street NW
Austin MN 55912


Service

Monday, April 16 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Saint Olaf Lutheran Church
306 2nd Street NW
Austin MN 55912

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