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Shirley Luella Misbach


Shirley Luella Misbach was born Aug. 4, 1920, in Williamsburg, Iowa, the daughter of Jesse Davis and Emelia S. (Wiese) Misbach. She grew up with six loving siblings on the Misbach family farm south of Marengo in Sumner Township. She was baptized and confirmed at the First Congregational Church in Genoa Bluffs, Iowa.
Shirley attended country school at East Sumner #5, one half mile north of her home. She graduated from Williamsburg High School with the Class of 1938. After a year at home helping the family on the farm, in 1939 Shirley entered Milwaukee-Downer College in Milwaukee. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1943 and continued with clinical training in occupational therapy, interning at hospitals in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Iowa. Upon receiving her OT diploma, Shirley accepted a position at the University of Iowa Psychiatric Hospital in Iowa City.
A war bride, Shirley was united in marriage to Ens. Orlo G. J. Buswell, U.S.N.R., on Aug. 12, 1944, at the Misbach home in Williamsburg. The couple immediately removed to Kansas, where Orlo received pre-flight training at Naval Air Station Hutchinson. Over the next few months they lived in San Diego and then in Modesto, Calif. Shirley returned to Iowa when Orlo reported to Hotel Del Monte in Monterrey for continued pre-flight training in preparation for his transfer to the South Pacific. During this time, Shirley lived with parents in both Marengo and Williamsburg, raised their young son, and helped friends and relatives write letters and knit socks in support of the war effort.
In late 1945, Lt. (jg) Buswell returned from overseas and the couple purchased their first home in Cedar Rapids, where Orlo began work as an IRS agent. They later moved to the Buswell farm south of Marengo. They continued to live there, farming and raising their family, until 1963 when they moved to Marengo. Upon moving from the farm, the couple pursued their interest in travel, exploring the U.S., Mexico and a portion of Canada, all by car. Shirley and Orlo also enjoyed wintering in Florida and Arizona, and visiting friends and relatives in California.
Shirley actively supported her local community. She was a 4-H leader, served on the Iowa County Home Economics Committee, delivered for Meals on Wheels, volunteered at the Marengo Memorial Hospital, and was a frequent visitor to residents at the Marengo Nursing Home. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church for more than 68 years and served as an elder, Sunday School teacher and church nursery school teacher for many years. Shirley was a lifelong lover of nature, a gardener, and enjoyed walking and hiking in the Colorado mountains. She was devoted to her family and enjoyed exchanging letters with friends and documenting family history.
Shirley is survived by her four children, Henry Stephen (Linda) Buswell, Marengo, Jonathon Davis (Donna) Buswell, Coralville, Victorine Anne (James) Hocker, Marengo, and Rebecca Jo (Michael) Siegel, Lake Forest, Ill.; her 10 grandchildren, Chris and Rion, Matt and Katie, Donna, Sara and Jonathon, and Elizabeth, Andrew and Dylan; and 11 beloved great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Orlo; grandson, Eric Siegel; her parents; and her siblings, Wiese, Wanda, Ila, Dorothy, Myron and Mildred.
Shirley died March 22, 2020, at the age of 99 years and seven and a half months, at Compass Memorial Hospital. Shirley was grateful to have been able to remain in her home until the last three weeks of her life. She appreciated the support of friends and neighbors, Compass Hospital, staff at county health, Meals on Wheels volunteers, the Presbyterian Church and the ministerial association who remembered her with Christmas carols. Watching the many neighborhood activities also brought her great joy.
Kloster Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Services are to be held at a later date. A memorial in Shirley's name will be established by the family.
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