Shirley Nan Enright was born on August 15, 1931, near Weskan, Kansas. She was the fourth of six children that were born to William Ray and Carrie (Cordwell) Enright. As the story has it,
Shirley was born on the kitchen table of a sod house, assisted by the sheep farmer who lived next door. She grew up on the prairies of western Kansas and enjoyed sitting in the hayloft of the barn and watching the horses. A fond memory of her childhood was riding the horses bare back and getting in trouble for doing it. As a young girl the family moved to the Denver area to escape the dust bowl. Shirley’s formal education was in the public school system in Arvada, Colorado.
On March 14, 1953, she was united in marriage with Carl John Benedict in Denver, Colorado. Shirley was a proud military wife who raised their three sons, Robert Allen, Russell Adam, and Roger Anthony, while living in three different countries. Shirley always put her family first. Following Carl’s discharge in 1976, they resided in Bellevue, Nebraska, and were active supporters of the local soccer club and high school band.
Carl passed away in March of 2007, and Shirley moved to Pella, Iowa, in 2008, to be near her son, Russ, and his family. In addition to her lifelong friends, Shirley made many new friends after moving to Pella. The week before her death, she and her three sons and their families celebrated Christmas early on Sunday, December 15, 2013.
On December 18, 2013, Shirley passed away unexpectedly at her residence in the Pella Manor at the age of 82 years.
Shirley is survived by her three sons and their families: Robert Benedict of Lincoln, Nebraska and his son, Braden Ashley Benedict of Denham Springs, Louisiana, and his son, Ian Lewis; Russ and Mary (Lang) Benedict of Knoxville, Iowa and their two daughters, Sarah Katherine Benedict of Des Moines, Iowa, and Emily Christine Benedict of Knoxville; Roger and Monica (Cosentino) Benedict of Orlando, Florida.
She will be remembered as a loving and compassionate mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who would do anything for her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Major Carl Benedict; her parents, William and Carrie Enright; and all of her siblings: Charles Enright, Vicky Riordan, Irma Enright, Norma Rae Hanavan, and Patricia Carnes. Shirley loved to strike up a conversation with anyone she met and did so well after becoming a member of the First Baptist Church in Pella. She enjoyed reading, researching genealogy and cooking. She was a caring and generous person and was well loved by her family and many friends.
Memorial services were held on Monday, December 23, 2013 at the First Baptist Church in Pella. Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk –Duven Funeral Home.