Shirley Tope Shearman
February 3, 2015
Shirley Tope Shearman
February 21, 1919 – January 31, 2015
Shirley Tope Shearman, 95, passed away at her home January 31st in Steamboat Springs after a brief illness.
Shirley Marguerite Tope was born to Dr. and Mrs. John W. Tope in Oak Park, Illinois on February 21, 1919. Shirley attended school in Oak Park and summered at Camp Miniwanca in Michigan. She graduated from Oak Park River Forest High School in 1937. She then attended Fairmont Junior College in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1939.
In 1942, she married John J. Tye, and they had three children. While raising children – living first in Wayne, Illinois and later in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin – Shirley was a volunteer in schools, church, and scouting for boys and girls. These activities were an important part of her long history of giving to others, which began in high school and continued through her efforts in Steamboat Springs.
Professionally, Shirley flew for Pennsylvania Central Airlines before World War II. In later years, she worked as a staff reporter for a local paper in Wisconsin, a survey technician for the U.S. Census Bureau, and a real estate broker.
In 1973, Shirley married Hugh Shearman and moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana. An avid golfer and skier, she took up running in 5K races and duck hunting during the fifteen years they lived there. Moving to Steamboat Springs in 1988, Shirley found new friends and activities in hiking, snowshoeing, NASTAR racing and cross country skiing while she continued her love of golf and hunting. Her volunteering in Steamboat included efforts with St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Lift Up, Young Life, and Discovery Learning Center.
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Shirley was preceded in death by her husband William Hugh Shearman, her brother Dr. John W. Tope and her granddaughter DeAnne Schmidt-Tye.
She is survived by her three children – John J. Tye Jr. and his wife Kris of Madison, WI, Richard T. Tye and his wife Nancy of Pardeeville, WI and Kimberly T. McOmber and her husband Buz of Atlanta, GA; 18 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held February 28, 2015 at 11:00 AM at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 9th and Oak in Steamboat Springs to be followed by a reception in the parish hall.
In lieu of flowers please consider honoring Shirley's lifelong connection to the American Youth Foundation and Camp Miniwanca by contributing to the American Youth Foundation Scholarship Fund in her name. She viewed the lessons she learned at Camp Miniwanca as fundamental to her life – living these lessons every day and continuing her connection to Miniwanca even in recent summers by returning to Michigan as a camp volunteer. http://www.ayf.com/donate or American Youth Foundation, 6357 Clayton Road,, St. Louis, MO 63117
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