Shirley Vlotho Muenzel

Shirley J. Vlotho Muenzel, 81, of La Feria, TX, formerly of Lansing, died Saturday, November 5, 2022 at Harlingen Medical Center in Harlingen, TX. Graveside services will be held Friday, November 18 at 2 p.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lansing with Pastor Bryan Robertson officiating. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon is handling the arrangements.

Shirley requested no fanfare, but if you happen to be in Lansing, you could visit her grave and then walk downtown and have a drink at one of the lovely spots overlooking the river.

Shirley Jane Muenzel was born May 5, 1941 in Des Moines, the daughter of Everett and Verna (Benton) McCoy. Shirley always lived life to the fullest. When she taught her kids to drive, she would always say, “Kick her down and go!!”; that was classic Shirley and that’s how she lived her life from her childhood through her final day on Earth.

Shirley always told it like it was and whether family or friend, you knew where you stood with her. You knew she loved you when she gave you a hug and slapped you on the back, and we’re not talking a little love tap.

She was a spitfire, born of another time, and helped create a path for strong women. Shirley was brazened, outspoken, and smart as heck. She had a steely exterior, a marshmallow interior, and at heart was always a really kind soul.

Shirley loved a good bonfire and passed that on to all her descendants. Even when she caught her hair on fire, we simply put it out with a garden hose so she could get right back fireside. Shirley preferred to cook over an open fire when possible, and always preferred the outdoors to inside, whether at the beach, mountains, forest, or best of all sitting and watching the Mississippi River!

She loved to dance anywhere and everywhere and passed that love on to all of her children. Shirley enjoyed music of every variety and we’ll all remember her blasting down the road in her convertible, belting out along with her Lady Gaga CD.

She always had as many plants as possible and had an amazing green thumb, which was NOT passed on to her children. One of her daughters gave her a tiny plant in a styrofoam cup as a child and Shirley kept it for over 20 years before giving it back to them as a sprawling six-foot plant; that poor plant then survived less than six months. She was able to garden to the end of her life and at a recent neighborhood party she threw, all her neighbors marveled at her lovely yard and plants. Shirley was truly one of a kind and there will never be another like her. All of her friends and family will miss her dearly.

Survivors include her children: Rhonda McCollough, Gayla (Kenneth) Sessa, Alicia (Darrin) Petty and Derrick Wedlund; a stepdaughter, Kathy (Robert Jr.) Evensen; 12 grandchildren: Justin McCollough, Jamie McCollough, Nicole Abbott, David Porter, Samantha McKeel, Andrew Carroll, Derrick Wedlund, Jr., Sabrina Krauss, Jeremy Flynn, Toni Swartzlander, Krysten Wedlund and Colten Wedlund; many great-grandchildren; and her siblings, Lewis and Verne McCoy.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Staci Carroll; her husbands: Rodney Vlotho, who died in 2009, and Dan Muenzel, who died in 2020; and a sister, Mary Fay.

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