Shirley A. Lotzgesell
Shirley A. Lotzgesell was born May 30, 1925, in Gothenburg, Neb.
In 1937, the family moved to Port Angeles.
Shirley was first clarinet in band and was named valedictorian in 1943.
She met her husband, Navy pilot James Lotzgesell, while working at a photographer’s studio to save college money. She went on to the UW — he returned to the Pacific. Stationed at Whidbey after the war, Jimmy would fly to Seattle to date Shirley. They married in 1946, and daughter Dana was born in 1949. When Jim’s squadron deployed to Kodiak, Shirley spent the summer there. Next, they got orders to California, where Bonnie was born. In 1952, they went to Honolulu. Her selfless courage showed best there with the 1953 last pre-Salk vaccine polio epidemic. Then, they went on to Midway. While there, Mr. Roberts was filmed. They met John Ford, Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon and Ken Curtis. Transferring to Intelligence, Jim was sent to Washington, D.C. In 1958, they took the Constitution (Grace Kelly’s ship to wed Prince Rainier) to duty in Morocco, where Tonah was born and Shirley taught piano. Jim retired in 1963 and they returned to Port Angeles. Shirley got her Real Estate license, then a B.A. when Evergreen St. College started a degree program at Peninsula College. In 2005, they moved to Whidbey.
Jimmy died in 2013. On July 17, we lost a beloved sister, mother and grandmother. She is survived by her siblings, Pattie Schurman and Jerry Harper; children, Dana Lotzgesell, Bonnie and husband, Larry McWilliams, Tonah and husband, Tim Potter; and grandchildren, Cari, Seth, Amy and Jeffrey.