Shirley passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on February 7, 2023 at the Clarissa C. Cook House, Bettendorf. She was 92.
Shirley Joan Kreiter was born on January 7, 1931 to Henry and Roma (Wiese) Kreiter. She grew up in rural Scott County with her two brothers, Jack and Ken.
Shirley graduated from Davenport High School in 1949, where she was involved in numerous activities and clubs. She was secretary for student council, runner up for homecoming queen, and part of the Lincoln Go Getters 4-H Club. Shirley was crowned “Miss State of Scott” in 1948.
She married Don Hugo Baustian on September 4, 1950 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport. They raised their three children; Roger, Dana, and Gina on their Century Farm in Scott County where they lived for most of their married life. Don and Shirley were bound together from the day she first laid eyes on him in 8th grade. They were inseparable and had a love that was sweet, tender, respectful, unbreakable, full, and constant. They leaned on each other so beautifully. In their older years, when Shirley’s eyesight started to falter and Don’s legs weren’t as steady, they held hands to get to wherever they were going, together. They had been married for almost 70 years when Don passed away in May of 2020.
Shirley was a caretaker to the people she loved. If you stopped by the farm for a visit, she’d offer you soda from a glass bottle and a homemade sweet treat. If you came to chat in the living room, she’d give you cookies and ice cream. She took care of the guys in the field during planting and harvest with picnic lunches and always had a warm supper ready at the end of the day.
She was the steady rock in everyone’s lives, always calm, sweet, and ready to laugh. When Don and Shirley’s phone rang, Don would usually answer only to say, “just a minute, here she is.” We can still hear the way she always answered the phone, with a beautiful, sing-song “Hello!”.
Shirley was a devoted grandmother to her nine grandchildren. She and Don hosted them in the summer for weekend mini vacations, and attended all their games, matches, recitals, 4-H shows, races, regattas, or anywhere else they could bring their lawn chairs.
She loved watching summer thunderstorms, the air show fly over their farm, reading the North Scott Press, and chatting on the phone with her friends. She kept a big garden for canning and pickling and was a wonderful baker. Friends and family always looked forward to her cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, breads, and many desserts. Her home was always welcoming and spotless.
Shirley was a faithful member and volunteer at Faith Lutheran Church in Eldridge for most of the years of her life. She prepared potlucks, taught Sunday school, and always took time to converse there with old and new friends. Faith Lutheran was a big part of her life and the church cherished the time Shirley spent there.
Shirley was proceeded in death by the love of her life, Don Baustian, in 2020. Shirley is survived by her three children, Roger (Sheila) Baustian of Davenport, Dana (Teressa) Baustian of Davenport, Gina (Brian) Bettini of Davenport; her nine grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren; her dear friends, Bud and Dottie House; and her sister-in-law, Myra Kreiter.
The family would like to thank the kind and supportive staff at the Clarissa C. Cook House for giving Shirley such peaceful end-of-life care.
The funeral will take place Saturday, February 11th at 1:00 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Eldridge with visitation one hour prior to service. Following the service, her burial will be in Pine Hill Cemetery in Davenport. A Celebration of Life will be held that afternoon from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the Outing Club in Davenport. All are welcome. Memorials may be made to Faith Lutheran Church, Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Chambers Funeral Home, Eldridge, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be shared with Shirley’s family at www.McGinnis-Chambers.com.