Shirley L. Sawatzke, age 93 of Yankton, SD and formerly of Crofton, Nebraska died on Friday, November 08, 2019 at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, SD.
Funeral Services will be on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crofton, Nebraska with the Rev. Amanda Talley officiating. Burial will be at the Crofton City Cemetery. Visitation will be on Monday from 5-8:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at the Wintz Funeral Home in Crofton. Visitation will continue on Tuesday one hour prior to services at church. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Crofton.
Pallbearers will be her grandchildren: Timothy Routh (Rebecca), Kristen Routh, Adam Sawatzke (Allyson), Laura Sawatzke, Alex Sawatzke (Jenny), Erik Nelson, Christopher Nelson, Kara Nelson, Lane Sawatzke, Reid Sawatzke, Cole Sawatzke.
Shirley Sage Sawatzke was born September 22, 1926 to Herbert E. Sage and Elizabeth Ann Peterson Sage in rural Knox County Nebraska. Her birthplace is now the South Shore Area on Lewis and Clark Lake. She was the 8th of nine children in the Sage family. Her brothers were Floyd, Harry, Ernest, Lawrence and Louis. She had three sisters, Bessie Haug, Florence Kool, and Dorothy Benck.
At two years old Shirley moved with the Sage family to a farm near Addison School, and in 1931 the family moved to the Leonard Weigand farm where Shirley attended Weigand School. In 1943 Shirley graduated from Bloomfield High School with a teaching certificate. She attended Wayne State College for teaching certificate renewal. She taught country schools at Weigand, Swede, Dolphin, and East Blyville.
August 11, 1948 Shirley married Lyle Lane Sawatzke, and they made their home in Crofton, Nebraska, where they raised four children: Cheryl Sawatzke Routh, Roger Lane Sawatzke, Janet Sawatzke Nelson and Jim Sawatzke.
Shirley assisted Lyle in his construction business as a bookkeeper. She was Lyle’s business historian, keeping scrapbooks of the many homes built in and around Crofton, Bloomfield, Laurel, Niobrara, and Santee, Nebraska as well as in Rosebud, SD. She assisted and recorded the work on two Niobrara churches. Shirley also scrapbooked the history of the Crofton Boxing Club during the time that Lyle coached the boxers.
As a confirmed member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Shirley served as Sunday School superintendent for 13 years, directed the Cradle Roll programs, Christmas Sunday School programs, and Bible School. She was also a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader for several years. Shirley loved gardening, bird watching, scrapbooking, playing the organ, and reading. She loved country music and was proud that at a young age she had the opportunity to sing a song on WNAX. Shirley was a true patriot and flew her flag proudly. She supported the military and Veterans and was proud to be a long time member of the Crofton American Legion Auxiliary.
Shirley taught herself how to use a computer at an older age and was a Facebook and email fan because it kept her close to family by sharing news and photos. Most of all Shirley loved spending time with her family, which included eleven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She proudly displayed their photos on walls and a large photo board that took prominence in her home.
After living in Crofton for many years, Shirley moved to Walnut Village Assisted Living in Yankton, South Dakota in 2016. She enjoyed the exercise class, resident parties, and visits from family and friends, who she loved taking to at the Village snack bar and meals.
Shirley was a long time member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Submarine Veterans of WWII Wives, and a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Shirley is survived by her sister Dorothy Benck, sister-in-law Lucille Sage (Louie), and Shirley’s four children: Cheryl (Jerry) Routh, Henderson, NV: Roger (Marina), Council Bluffs, Iowa; Janet (Marvin Nelson), Del Rapids, South Dakota: and Jim (Connie), Yankton, South Dakota. She has eleven grandchildren: Timothy Routh (Rebecca), Kristen Routh, Adam Sawatzke (Allyson), Laura Sawatzke, Alex Sawatzke (Jenny), Erik Nelson, Christopher Nelson, Kara Nelson, Lane Sawatzke, Reid Sawatzke, Cole Sawatzke. Shirley was blessed with four great grandchildren, Cecily Nelson, Mackenzie Routh, Elliana Sawatzke and Brantley Routh.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents Herbert E. Sage and Elizabeth Ann Peterson Sage, her husband Lyle (3-31- 2006), grandchild John Phillip Routh (11-09-1978), brothers Floyd, Harry, Ernest, Lawrence and Louis, and 2 sisters, Bessie Haug, and Florence Kool.