Shirley  Schottelkorb

Shirley A. Schottelkorb

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020
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Shirley Anne Lee Schottelkorb passed away on April 1, 2020 at The Village. She was 91. She was the only child of Ruth (Dare) and Ross Lee, born on June 18,1928 in Billings. She grew up in Roundup, then moved with her parents to Missoula in 1938. She was a daddy’s girl, whose daddy died when she was 11. In her sadness, she formed deep friendships with a small group of girlfriends who remained close, lifelong friends. She attended Lowell School, Missoula County High School, and Montana State University (now U of M). Shirley was well liked and involved in band, Rainbow Girls, church and high school government. Her first job was at Heinrich Flowers, which inspired her love of gardening. She later worked as a secretary at U of M and the Bureau of Public Roads. She caught the eye of a handsome WW2 combat pilot, Bob Schottelkorb, at a New Year’s Eve party in 1946, who was attracted to her shy smile and genuine kindness. The two married in 1948, one week after her 20th birthday. The marriage lasted 70 years until Bob’s passing in 2018. Bob and Shirley lived for several years in Hamilton, where she worked as a secretary for Rocky Mountain Laboratory. The joy of Shirley’s first pregnancy changed to fear with the diagnosis of polio during her 8th month of pregnancy. She was treated in St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula, which included a period of isolation, the birth of a healthy baby boy named Billy and months of physical therapy. Her growing baby provided strength training and motivation to regain muscle use. With rehabilitation, Shirley was able to progress from paralyzed arms and legs to full arm use and partial leg use. She considered herself one of the lucky ones! In 1956, Bob and Shirley moved back to Missoula just before the birth of their second child, Bette. Then four years later their family was completed with the birth of their third child, Bobbi Ann. Bob was owner and manager of Culligan Water Conditioning of Missoula and Shirley worked as office manager, a job she continued for four subsequent owners.

Shirley’s love of boating, swimming and family activities on the water led to the purchase of property on Flathead Lake. She loved spending weekends there, often driving back to work early on Monday mornings. The lake place has been enjoyed by all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Shirley and Bob’s family includes children: Bill (Sue) Schottelkorb of Kalispell, Bette (Greg) Clark of Plains, and Bobbi (John) Combs of Missoula. They were blessed with six grandchildren: April Schottelkorb (Cameron Rozell) of Kalispell, Andy (Lucy) Schottelkorb of Cornell, Wisconsin, Missy (Matt) Hoyne of Kalispell, Amanda Combs of Soldotna, Alaska, Lindsay Combs of Seattle, Washington, and Elena Combs of Oakdale, California. They also have six (soon to be seven) great-grandchildren: Eliana and Liam, Rylee and Alia, Marian and Adeline. Family was always Shirley’s greatest pride and joy!

Shirley will be remembered for her quiet faith, love of music, determination in facing numerous medical challenges, enjoyment of gardening, rooting for the Grizzlies, and her love of chocolate! We love you and miss you, Mom!

A family memorial will be held later in the summer. Memorials can be made to Hospice of Missoula, Missoula Habitat for Humanity or Missoula Food Bank.

The family would like to give a heartfelt thank you to Marsha Davis for her loyal and tender care of Mom in her final month. Also, a special thanks to the incredible people at Hospice of Missoula for their amazing care under the most difficult of circumstances.
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