Shirley A. (McConville) Smith

Posted 12/11/20

MADISON - Shirley Ann (McConville) Smith, 83, passed away peacefully surrounded by her children on Dec. 6, 2020 after a short, non-COVID-19-related stay in the hospital.

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Shirley A. (McConville) Smith


MADISON - Shirley Ann (McConville) Smith, 83, passed away peacefully surrounded by her children on Dec. 6, 2020 after a short, non-COVID-19-related stay in the hospital.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 18 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, 401 S. Owen Dr., Madison, Wis. Visitors may call at the church beginning at 10 a.m. A private burial will follow the Mass.

Shirley was born Feb. 22, 1937 in Mendota to Leo and Frances McConville. She married Richard R. “Dick” Smith on Nov. 14, 1959. He preceded her in death.

Survivors inclue her children, Kathy (Jeff) Epping, Diane (Steve) Palmiter, Barbara (Eric) Simons and Rich (Kathy Cantwell) Smith; seven grandchildren, Griffin, Kara and Keegan Epping, Katie (Donny) James, Colleen Palmiter, and Easton and Quinn Smith; two siblings, Doris Jessen and John (Florence) McConville; her in-laws, Howard and Ginny (Smith) Schmidt and Martha Smith; and many loving, fun and crazy nieces and nephews.                   

She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; five siblings, Mary (Jimmy) Graham, Eileen (Les) Full, Leo (Lois) McConville, Donnell (Bernice) McConville and Emmett McConville; and one brother-in-law, John Jessen.

Shirley grew up on the family farm as the youngest of eight children. She had fond memories of her youth on the farm, riding horses and attending a one-room schoolhouse for elementary school. Those formative years set the tone for her strong Irish heritage that would sustain her throughout her life. In 1956, she graduated from Mendota High School. After graduation, she attended St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, where she earned a BS in Nursing. After graduation, she married Dick and they moved to Champaign, where she worked as a nurse while Dick attended college. Another move was made to Ames, Iowa for more of Dick’s schooling then a final move brought them to Madison, Wis. in 1966. Now with a young family in tow, Shirley stayed home to raise four children and volunteered countless hours at Blessed Sacrament School and Church and Edgewood High School. She also used this time to hone her skills and hobbies in sewing, quilting and antique collecting and refinishing. She could never resist stopping at an antique shop! She was an original hockey mom and laced up her skates for the annual mother-son game. As her children reached middle school, she returned to nursing and had a long and rewarding career at Dean Health Clinic and St. Mary’s Hospital where her caring, kindness, and compassion were her true calling. Shirley and Dick traveled extensively and enjoyed seeing and learning about other countries and cultures. A group of special “camping friends” were among the traveling partners and their love and friendship spanned 50 years. Shirley was most proud of her family and spent as much time as possible with them on family camping vacations and annual trips to Waupaca, Wis. She rarely missed an athletic event, school play or graduation. Her greatest joy was celebrating all the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren, large or small.

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