Shirley May (Olsen) Fernau

Shirley Fernau
Shirley Fernau

Shirley and Robert Fernau
Shirley and Robert Fernau

(January 14, 1930 - January 2, 2009)


The Lusk Herald
January 21, 2009


Shirley Fernau

Shirley May Fernau, a lifelong resident of Riverton, Wyoming, passed away on Jan. 2, 2009, at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was receiving medical care. She was 78 at the time of her transition. Cremation has taken place, and memorial services in Riverton will follow at a later date.

Shirley was born in Riverton on Jan. 14, 1930, to Harold and Agnes Olsen. She was the beloved wife of the late Dr. Robert Fernau, who was born and raised in Lusk. Shirley graduated from Riverton High School at the top of her class in 1947 and celebrated and helped to organize her 60th Class Reunion in Riverton in July of 2007. She received a B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Wyoming. She married Robert Fernau of Lusk in August of 1950. They lived in Denver, Colo., and Tacoma, Wash., during medical school, internship, and residency, before returning to live permanently in Riverton.

Shirley was a member of the Fremont County Library Board for many years, during the building of the new library addition in Lander and the new library in Riverton. She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority at U.W., she contributed to and participated in the annual Wyoming Leadership Seminar, and in recent years loved getting together with her friends and clasmates in their "No Hatters" club in Riverton. Shirley loved gardening, art and painting, writing and computers, music, and birds and animals of every kind. She led a deeply spiritual life and will always be remembered by all who knew her for her generosity, kindness, understanding, laughter, and wonderful sense of humor! She will always be loved by and an inspiration to her family and friends.

She was predeceased by her parents and her brother Harold Olsen, Jr. She is survived by her three children: Lynnette (& Rusty) Ward of Casper, Bob Fernau of Cody, and Dr. Jim Fernau of Pittsburgh. She loved her eight grandchildren: Ben and Jimmy Ward; and Theresa, Alana, Joey, Erika, Olivia, and Myles Fernau. Nieces and nephews include Dotty (Fernau) Cunningham and Dale Grant Fernau of Arizona; Gary Fernau of California; Betsy Bartlett and David Bartlett of Colorado; John Fernau of Elkton, Maryland; and Joe Fernau of Casper, Wyo. Living relatives in Lusk include Shirley's sister-in-law, Betty (Fernau) Morgan, and her niece, Margy Lou Fernau. (The late Walt Fernau of Lusk was Shirley's brother-in-law and the father of John, Margy, and Joe Fernau.)

Memorials in Shirley's name may be made to any local/county Humane Society or to the Wyoming Leadership Seminar (a nonprofit Wyoming corporation dedicated to educating, enriching, and inspiring Wyoming high school students statewide since 1982) at P. O. Box 3506, Casper, WY 82602. (The family may also be contacted at the above address or by e-mail at sazn@ymail.com.








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