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Shirley N. Byland

September 17, 1926 June 3, 2010
Shirley N. Byland
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Obituary for Shirley N. Byland

Shirley N. (Haag) Byland passed away Thursday, June 3, at her home in Brookings. She was 83. Shirley was born Sept. 17, 1926, in State College, Pa., to Ruth (Watts) and Joseph Roy Haag. When she was about six months old, the family moved to Corvallis, where her father had accepted a teaching post in the chemistry and animal nutrition program at Oregon State University that would soon lead to a full professorship. During the World War II years, the Haag household welcomed many soldiers for dinner. Like her mother, Shirley became an accomplished cook, using fresh, locally grown and produced ingredients. When Shirley enrolled at Oregon State in the teaching and home economics program, her mother decided to join her, and the two earned their degrees together. Shirley married her husband, Jack, of Corvallis, on Sept. 7, 1947. While Jack pursued a career in accounting and finance, Shirley decided that teaching wasn’t her calling and put her ability with math to use as a bookkeeper. After a period in the Portland area, the couple settled in Richland, Wash., where their three children were born. In the mid 1950s, Shirley was in the last wave of Americans to contract polio, from which she recovered. Although Shirley was recruited for a government program aimed at developing talented women for government jobs, she elected to continue her bookkeeping career, which allowed her to work at home while her children were growing up. In the late 1960s, the family moved to New Jersey. Later, when the children were grown, Shirley and Jack lived in Ohio, California, and Saudi Arabia, where Jack held a finance job with a Saudi company. The Saudi Arabia years were challenging for Shirley, as women were not allowed to drive and faced many other restrictions there. Shirley enjoyed traveling outside the country, particularly in Africa. In 1982, she realized her dream of returning to Oregon and living near the ocean, when the coupled moved to Brookings. Shirley was an accomplished bridge player who was blessed with tremendous support from her bridge friends as her health declined. She had a green thumb where gardening was concerned, and for most of her life, she enjoyed golfing, hunting and fishing. A crossword puzzle enthusiast, she also enjoyed entertaining and welcomed drop-by guests. In addition to her husband, Jack, Shirley is survived by her children, Kathleen Gardner and her husband, Greg, of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mi.; Steve Byland and his wife, Linda, of Warren, N.J. and Rick Byland and his wife, Isabel, of Pear Blossom, Calif. grandsons, Ross and Ben Gardner; of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mi.; brother Roger Haag and his wife, Patty, of Brookings; sister-in- law Alberta Torney, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ruth and Roy Haag, and her sister, Hope Prescott, and Hope’s husband, Herb. Memorial contributions may be made to Friends of Curry County Hospice, P.O. Box 382, Gold Beach, OR 97444, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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