Shirley Buswell

August 1,1930 - March 20, 2021

Shirley was born on August 1, 1930 in San Francisco to Winifred and Russell Sullivan. She graduated from St. Peter’s Academy in 1948. Being driven from the beginning, she began working as an administrative assistant at Equitable Insurance Company in her hometown while simultaneously attending Heald Business College. She worked there for over ten years, becoming indispensable to her boss. Wanting a new adventure, she decided to take a job with the Alaska Highway Department in Nome, Alaska. Within a year her boss at Equitable convinced her to return to San Francisco to work for another year.

After making her return home, on February 10, 1961, in Yuma, AZ, she married Sergeant Gene Buswell who preceded her in death in 2015. Gene was a widower with a 12-year-old son, John. John was thrilled to have a mother after seven years of being raised by a single military dad. Soon after, they welcomed their first daughter Jennie and three years later had their daughter, Bonnie. When it came time for Gene to retire from the army, Shirley was put in charge of finding a home with good skiing close by. In 1966 they moved to Bend which became their forever home.

Shirley’s drive and perseverance did not diminish with age. When she was 55, she earned her associates degree from COCC, graduating the program Summa Cum Laude. After earning her associates, she went to work as an office manager for Hunter Expeditions, a local white water rafting company.

Shirley was an active member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church for 55 years and volunteered for their school, food pantry and thrift shop. Likewise, she was generous in her community, volunteering for the local library, elections and was always finding ways to help her neighbors and family. She had a love for sewing, making clothes, curtains, placemats and anything else that her home or family needed. She was an excellent money manager, wonderful cook and avid sports fan. She also spent much of her time outside cultivating a bountiful vegetable garden or going on hikes, breathing fresh mountain air.

Those who knew Shirley can attest that she was a 10-foot personality in a 4’ 10” frame. Her tenacity and vigor were matched by her acute intellect and million miles-an-hour wit, which made her a formidable force for whatever task she applied herself to. By her family, she will also be remembered as an attentive, loving and supportive mother, and by the enthusiasm with which she took to her role as a grandmother. She will be missed by those that knew her well for her wise counsel, quick wit, her determined and resilient spirit, and loving heart.

She is survived by her sister Hazel Butticci, her two daughters Jennie Buswell and Bonnie Schiek (Bill), and three grandchildren Andrew Schiek (Sedona), Aaron Schiek and Hannah Schiek. She was preceded in death by stepson John Buswell, her sister Sr. Rosemary Sullivan, and her brother Russell Sullivan.

A Mass will be said for her at the Old Historic St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on Monday May 24, 2021 at 12:15pm. Contributions in her name may be made to St. Francis of Assisi historic church fund or Partners in Care, Attn: Donor Services 2075 NE Wyatt Ct. Bend, OR 97701.