Shirley was born July 7, 1931, the daughter of John P. and Anna Marie (Ruden) Theisen. She was raised in the Oyens and Remsen area and received her education at St. Catherine's school in Oyens.
She married Al F. (Sonny) Gengler April 16, 1955. They made their home near Oyens where they were engaged in farming for 31 years retiring in March of 1985.
Shirley then worked at Happy Siesta Nursing Home for 14 years. She then worked for Father Tom Hart and Father Tim Johnson from 2000 until 2004. Shirley and Al then moved to Park Village Court in Le Mars, where she worked part-time at Medical Associates.
Shirley and Al were members of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen and former members of St. Catherine's Church in Oyens. Her present church was St. James Church in Le Mars. She is a member of St. Mary's Christian Women's Guild of Remsen, and St. James Alter Society of Le Mars.
Shirley also loved crocheting baby blankets for her children and grandchildren.
She is survived by 13 children. They are Paul and wife, Brenda Gengler, Kevin and wife, Heidi Gengler, Nancy and husband, Mark Ellensohn, Lori and husband, Bob Schlesser, Vicki and husband, Brad Ufken, all of Le Mars, Judy and husband, Jerry Keffeler, Peggy and husband, Glen Steichen, Bonnie and husband, Ken Ahlers, Melvin Gengler and Glen Gengler, all of Remsen, Cindy and husband, Tim Myers of Dakota City, Pam Siders and special friend, Rich Magnuson of Sioux City, and Wayne and wife, Eileen Gengler of Spencer. She is also survived by 34 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; four sisters, Therry Weiler of Remsen, Sally and husband, Richard Henke of Cherokee, Rita McCarty of Spencer, and Lois Theisen of Dubuque; two brothers, Cyril Theisen and his wife, Helen of Remsen and Ivan Theisen and his wife, Yvonne of Marcus; sisters-in-law, Joan Cronin of Marcus, Rita Theisen of Canby, Minn., and Myrt Weiler of Oyens; and her dear friend, Kay Eral of Le Mars.
She was preceded in death by her parents John and Anna Theisen, her husband Al F. (Sonny) Gengler; a sister Anna Lee in infancy; two brothers Elmer Theisen of Marcus and Reynold Theisen of Canby, Minn.; three brothers-in-law, David McCarty of Spencer, Gilbert Weiler of Remsen, and Duane Weiler of Oyens.
Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen with the Rev. William McCarthy officiating. Burial will be in St. Catherine's Cemetery in Oyens. Visitation will be any time after 4 p.m. Tuesday. There will be a parish rosary at 5 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m., all at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen. Services have been entrusted to Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen.
Casketbearers will be Paul, Melvin, Wayne, Glen & Kevin Gengler, Bob Schlesser.
Condolences may be sent online to www.fischfh.com.