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Shirley Ann (Christians) Nolte

February 24, 1934 ~ August 18, 2020 (age 86)



SHIRLEY ANN NOLTE, age 86, of Ellsworth, died Tuesday, August 18th, 2020.  She was born February 24, 1934 in Little Rock Township, MN to Bill and Hilda (Miller) Christians.

Shirley attended country school and graduated from Little Rock High School in Little Rock, IA.  Shirley enjoyed listening to the radio, playing outside with her favorite dolls, riding her bike and horse with her brother LeRoy and attending the Corn Show every year.  As she grew older, she loved playing basketball and singing in the choir.  Her favorite memory was playing basketball in the State tournament.  Shirley and her friends loved drive-in movies and dances. 

Shirley’s first job was selling popcorn at softball games where she enjoyed meeting and working with new people.  After graduation she was employed by Adrian State Bank.

She married Richard Nolte on December 1, 1953.  She told her grandchildren that her wedding day was, “the best day of my life.” They started their married life in San Diego, CA where Richard was stationed.  They then spent a short time in Norfolk, VA.  After the Navy, they moved to Heron Lake, MN where Shirley returned to her banking career.  After several years, they found their way home to Ellsworth, MN where she lived until her death.  She worked at Campbell Soup until she found employment at Parkview Manor.  For twenty years, she worked as a med tech and cared for many individuals.  She truly loved caring for others.

Shirley retired from Parkview Manor and soon realized that retirement was not for her.  She then began working at the Short Stop which filled her need to be with people.  She was employed there until it closed.

Shirley was an active member of the Zion Presbyterian Church where she served in many different areas, as well as President of the Presbyterian Women.  She loved God and she loved her Bible study group.  In 1984 she proudly served as President of the Ellsworth American Legion Ladies Auxiliary until the time of her passing. 

The thing that mattered most to her in life was her family, which she considered her greatest blessing.  She took great pride in all their accomplishments.  She enjoyed going to her grandchildren’s events, jigsaw puzzles, cryptoquotes, creating her Christmas village and painting an ornament for each grandchild every Christmas.

If you were blessed to have met this incredible woman, you know how much she will be missed.

Shirley’s deep faith, love of life and great sense of humor, will be remembered and greatly missed by her six children; Pat (Rick) Long, Rock Rapids, IA ; Ken (Rose) Nolte, Pipestone; Deb (Kevin) Grebin, Sioux Falls, SD; Cindy (Steve) Heitkamp, Luverne; Mike Nolte, Ellsworth; and Laurie (Steve) Herman, Rock Rapids, IA; twenty-two grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Richard on April 9, 2004; an infant daughter, four grandchildren, a great grandson and her brother LeRoy Christians.

   A celebration of life will be from 10 am to noon, with a time for sharing memories at noon, on Saturday at the Zion Presbyterian Church in Ellsworth Burial of cremains will be at 12:30 pm Saturday at the Grand Prairie Cemetery in Ellsworth.

   In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Sanford Luverne Hospice Cottage.

   Dingmann Funeral Home & Cremation Services, in Adrian, is in charge of arrangements.

   To live stream the funeral service please visit

   To view an online obituary or order flowers, please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley Ann (Christians) Nolte, please visit our floral store.


Time of Fellowship
August 22, 2020

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Zion Presbyterian Church
420 S. Broadway
Ellsworth, Minnesota 56129

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