Shirley J. Sanford, age 67, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away on Monday, July 26, 2021, at Mayo Clinic Hospital Saint Marys Campus, after a brief battle with cancer. Shirley Jean Lewis was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Richard, Sr. and Jean (Johnson) Lewis. She grew up in Mound, Minnesota and graduated with the class of 1972 from Mound High School. Shirley then went on to attend Winona State University, where she graduated with a degree in elementary education with and emphasis special education. On July 31, 1976, she married Stephen Sanford in Mound, Minnesota and together were blessed with three children. Shirley worked as a substitute teacher for Blooming Prairie Public Schools and Austin Public Schools. She then worked for the Austin Hospital in the gift shop. In 1995, she began a 24-year career at Sterling Main Street working various jobs, most recently as a bookkeeper. Shirley enjoyed gardening, bird watching, caring for her dog and two cats, watching Hallmark movies, playing Candy Crush, and especially loved spending time with her grandkids. She will be dearly missed.
Survivors include her children, Tim Sanford of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Becky (Matt) Bungum of Wells, Minnesota, Jeff Sanford of Austin, Minnesota; four grandchildren, Ava, Olivia, Gretchen, and Colin Bungum; siblings, John (Valerie) Lewis of Minnetonka, Minnesota, Susan (Michelle) Lewis of Strathroy, Ontario in Canada, Barb (Ric) Koehn of Paynesville, Minnesota; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Richard, Sr. and Jean Lewis; and her husband, Stephen Sanford in 2016.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021, at Crane Community Chapel in Austin. Visitation will take place from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. Interment will be in Grandview Cemetery, Austin. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Mower County Humane Society. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements.