Shirley B. Corning

WESTFIELD—Shirley B. Corning, age 92, passed away at Harris Villa Assisted Living on September 29th, 2020. Shirley was born on December 18, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Harry and Ethel (Hawker) Wagner. She married Robert “Bud” Corning on September 18, 1950 and they were married for 67 years. Shirley attended Libertyville High School in Diamond Lake, Illinois. In 1942 on Shirley’s 15th birthday, she had the privilege of christening the YMS 174, a newly completed mine sweeper for the U.S. Navy, where her father was foreman of the WWII Chicago shipbuilding plant.

In 1950 Bud and Shirley built their home south of Briggsville where they raised their family of five daughters and two sons keeping Shirley busy as a stay-at-home Mom. She also enjoyed her role as the wife of Marquette County Sheriff Bud Corning and occasionally served as an Under Sheriff, Bailiff and did transports. She was a lifelong American Legion Auxiliary member since 1952. She was an avid gardener and loved birdwatching and keeping the feeders filled at Harris Villa. Even at 92, Shirley could put a puzzle together in record time and was a voracious reader when not puzzle making.

Shirley was a talented seamstress sewing all five of her daughter’s wedding dresses and was commissioned to sew dresses for friends. She was also a 4-H instructor. The family grew up with music in the house where Shirley played the organ and keyboard. She and Bud spent many hours attending their son’s football, wrestling, and baseball games. In 1980 Bud and Shirley moved onto the Corning family farm. They were avid motorcyclists traveling countless rustic roads with their Retreads Motorcycle Club. Winters found them out on the trails with their Marquette County Snowmobile Club. When Bud retired, they wintered in Florida and Texas in their motorhome.

On August 1, 2012, Bud and Shirley moved to Harris Villa Assisted Living in Westfield.

Shirley is survived by her loving children, Cheryl (Greg) Seeley, Jean (Rick) Rehm, Betty (Michael) Zokan, Carol (Mike) Hendrick, Bob (Dawn) Corning, and Ralph (Peggy) Corning; 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren and many friends. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Bud, sister Audrey Williams and her daughter, Major Sandra (Uwe) Corning Schwaier (Nursing Corps), and a great-grandson.

Special thanks to Nan Hinze and all of Shirley’s caretakers at Harris Villa and Agnesian Hospice for your loving care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Briggsville American Legion, Briggsville Auxiliary, Harris Villa or Briggsville Methodist Church.

A memorial celebration of Shirley’s life will be planned for Spring 2021. 

Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.

For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)