Shirley E. Dinkel, a 44-year resident of Colville, passed away on July 26, 2011 in Colville at the age of 79. Shirley was born on Nov. 9, 1931 in Midvale, Idaho, the daughter of Elmon and Grace Edith (Lanway) Bratcher.
She was raised on the family farm just outside of Midvale. Shirley attended school in Midvale and graduated in 1949 as the valedictorian of her class. On Feb. 5, 1949, Shirley married Mike Dinkel and they moved to New Meadows, Idaho, where they began a family.
While her children were young, Shirley devoted her attention and time to raising her family. She was also active in the Methodist Church and a member of the Rebecca’s Lodge. As her children grew, she found time to work as a volunteer for the school theatrical program, assisting with costumes and other facets of the productions. She also began her career as a cook for the school’s hot lunch program. In 1963, the family moved to Grangeville, Idaho. Shirley continued to work outside of the home as a cook at a local nursing home.
Four years later, their family relocated to Colville. Shirley’s cooking skills were enjoyed throughout the years at many local restaurants until her retirement in the mid 1990’s. Her husband, Mike, preceded her in death in 1971. During Shirley’s retirement, she continued to do what she had always done… care for others. She was in charge of the monthly tenant dinners at her apartment complex in Kettle Falls. Whether you were family, neighbors or friends, Shirley was always there to offer a hand, cook and help with the care of their home.
Shirley was well known for her cooking and her homemade delights drew many guests. No one ever left her home without “too much” to eat. This seemed to define her character, for she was never satisfied unless she had provided an abundance of her generosity, love, laughter, kindness, and nourishment in portions often bordering on “too much.”
Following her stroke in 2009, Shirley resided in the care of Pinewood Terrace Nursing Home. During these past 22 months, the majority of her verbal skills were lost, so with varied inflection, she would communicate using two very fitting words, “too much.” Shirley shared many camping trips, fishing trips, huckleberry adventures and several vacations with her dear friends, Byron and Florence Cooper. She had a light-hearted approach to life, loved music, dancing and watched many musical television programs. Her collection of frogs was quite expansive and included jewelry, cards, statuettes, stuffed animals and many “colorful” craft items. She would have loved to fill her home daily with cut flowers especially red roses.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Mike; broth¬ers, Wayne, Norris, Ray, Harley and Howard Bratcher; sisters, Reva Ash and Edna Widner; a grandson, Kenny Hopper; son-in-laws, Larry Zimmerman and Loren Hopper.
She is survived by her daughters, Edie Stewart and husband, John, Colville; Diane Zimmerman, Lewiston, Idaho; grandchild, Ron Hopper and wife, Lacey, McAllister, MT, and a great-grandson, Colton Hopper; numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service for Mrs. Shirley Ellen Dinkel will begin at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 6 at the Danekas Funeral Chapel in Colville. Pastor Bob Todd will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Shriner’s Hospital.
Please visit the on-line memorial and sign the guest book at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com .
Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements.
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