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Shirley Jean Tolle, 87

Shirley Jean (Heermann) Tolle, of Broomfield, passed away after a short, acute illness at age 87 on July 22, 2019. A private family memorial is being planned.

Shirley was born in Burke, SD, to Esther (Goodwin) and Gilbert Heermann on April 2, 1932. The family moved to Ainsworth, NE, where Shirley spent her youth and graduated from Ainsworth High School. One night in close-by Hidden Paradise, Shirley was having dinner with her parents at a dance hall when Jim Tolle asked her to dance. The pair were married three months later on July 7, 1956 and shortly thereafter moved to Denver, CO where Jim was employed as an engineer.

In Nebraska, Shirley worked for the Federal Bureau of Reclamation and continued working for them in Colorado at the Federal Center. Later in her career, she transferred to the to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare where she received a governmental award for superior service.

Outside of work, Shirley’s passion was tole painting, which is the folk art of decorative painting on tin and wooden utensils, objects or furniture. She participated in conventions for the art, where she received the Student Artist Award. Later, she became an instructor of the technique and shared her passion with others.

Along with the many painted treasures, Shirley also had a passion for genealogy and has left a library of family history and photos that will be meaningful for generations to come.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Gilbert and Esther Heermann; and is survived by her husband of 63 years, Jim, and beloved toy poodle, Bijou. She is also survived by many cousins. All who knew Shirley will remember her as a sweet and generous soul.

Ainsworth Star-Journal

921 E. 4th St.
P.O. Box 145
Ainsworth, NE 69210
PH: (402) 387-2844
FAX: (402) 387-1234

Valentine Midland News

146 W. 2nd St.
P.O. Box 448
Valentine, NE 69201
PH: (402) 376-2833
FAX: (402) 376-1946

Gregory Times-Advocate

119 E. 7th St.
P.O. Box 378
Gregory, SD 57533
PH: (605) 835-8089
FAX: (605) 835-8467