Rux, Shirley Ann Walhaug (1951-2011)

Shirley Rux, 59, died Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at Sanford Medical Center, Thief River Falls, MN

Shirley Ann Walhaug was born on August 20, 1951 in Thief River Falls, MN, the daughter of Clarence and Martha (Lee ) Walhaug. She was baptized and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church in Oklee, MN. While growing up, Shirley attended grade school and high school in Oklee, graduating in 1969.

Following high school, Shirley worked for Arctic Cat, and Kelly Hardware. Shirley met her future husband, Gary Rux while he was performing at Hanson’s Bar in Plummer, MN. The two quickly fell in love. After dating for a couple of years, they were united in marriage at Salem Lutheran Church in Oklee, MN, on April 6, 1974. Shirley and Gary made their home in Thief River Falls, and raised their children, Taryn and Trenton “TJ”.

Throughout the years, Shirley worked for Gary at his insurance and investment business, but was most proud of being a stay at home mom to her children. Shirley loved spending time at her second home, their lake cabin at Upper Red Lake whenever possible. Entertaining at the lake was one of Shirley’s favorite pastimes. She really enjoyed having all of her many friends and family members there.

Shirley was considered a second mom to many of her children’s friends, and a second grandma to her grandchildren’s friends. Their home was always open to everyone.

If you knew Shirley, you knew that she loved to work outside in her lawn, whether it was mowing the lawn or trimming her trees. She did everything she could to be outside, would pray for rain so she could continue to mow another day, and would purposely make a two hour job last twice as long, just to be outside.

Shirley’s best friends were her sisters, Carol, Sharon, and her “adopted” sister, Georgieann. Wherever you saw Shirley, more than likely one or all of her sisters were with. They did everything together and will miss her dearly.

Up until a few days before she passed away, Shirley was still enjoying another favorite pastime, watching the weather channel. She faithfully followed the weather in the Thief River area, and would frequently gather her family to watch the storms roll in.

Shirley threw the statistics and the rule book out the window when she was diagnosed with and fought lung cancer. When she was feeling reasonably well, her family could tell…she was her usual feisty self. When she wasn’t herself, they knew she was truly ill. Shirley Rux put up a helluva fight, from April 22, 2010 until June 15, 2011, when she passed away peacefully and quietly in her sleep.

Survivors include Shirley’s husband of 37 years, Gary, of Thief River Falls, MN; her “babies”, Taryn (Matthew G), and TJ, and grandchildren, Aron and Gannon, all of Thief River Falls, MN; siblings, Sharon (Warren) Larson, of Thief River Falls, MN, Wayne Walhaug of Oklee, MN, and Carol (Richard) Clark of Thief River Falls, MN; sister by friendship, Georgieann Mortenson, of Kelliher, (Upper Red Lake); godchildren, Kelly Clark Mitchell of Rock Lake, ND, and Brandi Larson of Thief River Falls, MN; mother-in-law, Lillian Rux “Mom” of Thief River Falls, MN, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends.

Preceding her in death are her parents; brother, Eddie Mattison; father-in-law, Gail Rux, and brother-in-law, Allen Rux.

Funeral service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, MN with Reverend John Voelker officiating.

A visitation will be held from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN with a 7:00 P.M. Prayer Service on Saturday evening and also at the church for one hour prior to the service on Sunday.

Memorials preferred to the American Cancer Society.