February 21, 2024 at 11:31 a.m.

Shirley Melaas



Shirley Ann Melaas of Lindstrom, born January 22, 1944 died peacefully in her home on February 9, 2024, at the age of 80, in Lindstrom, MN.

Shirley was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and was adopted at nine months old by Frank and Edith Drong, and was raised by them on Maple Hill in Hibbing, MN. She was named after her mother’s favorite actress, Shirley Temple. She graduated from Hibbing High School in 1962, then went to college at St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing, where she forged several lifelong friendships while studying there.

Upon graduation, she moved to St. Paul with her family, and started working as a Registered Nurse (R.N.) in pediatrics at Bethesda Hospital. She loved working with children there, and found she had a strong knack for counseling patients while also tending to their physical needs. Realizing this, she ultimately moved on to do counseling full time as a Mental Health Therapist for Health Partners. All told, she worked in the nursing field for 38 years, before retiring in 2003.

Shirley had a love of dancing, especially country dancing, which is how she met her husband, Orvin. They continued dancing together, soon after got married, and were married 34 years, together until her death.

Her pride and joy were her four children: Mike, Scott, Chris, and Melissa, and her two granddaughters, Paloma and Paisley.

She will be remembered for her strong faith in Jesus and her sense of humor. She also loved making holidays and birthdays extra special.

Shirley loved to bake, always making homemade cakes for her kids’ birthdays, and especially at Christmas time, where her specialties were cream cookies, fudge, and Makufka. She also loved gardening, and would be very meticulous about caring for her flower gardens. She received a “Take Pride” award for her beautiful flower garden at their house in North Saint Paul. At their house in Lindstrom, she even had a special shed Orvin made for her that held all her gardening tools, which she named “Shirley’s Shack”.

She loved to draw, paint, and do various forms of art work. She even painted a giant butterfly in her daughter Melissa’s bedroom while she was growing up. She was always busy cleaning and kept the house immaculate. She loved decorating, especially for the holidays, and would have all kinds of knickknacks around the house, including characters such as: Snoopy, Tigger, fairies, and her latest favorite, gnomes.

Shirley had many pets throughout her lifetime, but her favorite ones were her two labs, Casey and Harvey. They gave her a sense of companionship, safety, and security while Orvin was away on weekends for the Air Force reserves.

She loved hosting parties and playing games. She was very competitive, and especially loved beating all of us at either Cribbage, Scrabble, or the Mexican Train game, which she did frequently.

Although she admitted she was not a very good singer, due to her being tone deaf and hard of hearing, she loved to sing, and would sing at the top of her lungs very loudly, especially while at church, which would sometimes make us cringe, but also put a huge smile on our faces to see the joy it gave her.

Later in life, Shirley loved taking her baths for relaxation, afternoon naps with her special blanket, and sitting on the back porch of her home, watching all the wildlife go by: birds, deer, and even wild turkeys.

She is preceded in death by her parents, brother Roger, and her first husband Terry Bang, whom she had three children with (Mike, Scott, Chris). She was also married to Jim Rose, with whom she had her fourth child (Melissa, spouse Jeb).

 She is survived by her husband Orvin, her four children, three step children, two granddaughters, nine step grandchildren, and 10 step great grandchildren.

A Memorial Service celebrating Shirley’s life will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 13025 Newell Ave, Lindstrom, MN Saturday, February 24, noon. Visitation 10am-noon, Lunch to follow the service

**We invite anyone to bring items in remembrance of Shirley to display at her service, anything goes!


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