Obituary: Shirley L (Norman) Zupancic

Shirley L (Norman) Zupancic
Shirley L (Norman) Zupancic
Provided Photo

January 27, 1949 – March 28, 2022

Shirley ‘Shirl’ Louise (Norman) Zupancic passed away March 28, 2022 at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, CO surrounded by her family. She was 73. Shirley was born in Flagler, Colorado January 27, 1949 to parents Patricia (Eagan) Norman and Kenneth Norman.

Shirl spent her early childhood living in Cope, Colorado where her family farmed wheat, operated a grocery store and a creamery. In 1960 when Shirl was 11, the family moved to Eagle Colorado. They operated the A Bar cattle ranch in the Brush Creek valley south of Eagle. Shirl attended Eagle Valley Middle School and later graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 1967. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO studying Education to be a teacher. Her roommate introduced her to Raymond Zupancic whom she married in 1970. In the early years the two enjoyed many adventures cruising around in their VW bug, Ray driving and Shirl standing up through the sun-roof. They lived in various place in Colorado early on, but eventually settled in Eagle where they raised their three children, Joe, Kelly and Mike.

In addition to being a mother, Shirl had jobs including working for the US Census Bureau, housekeeping, Walmart manager and eventually retired from SkyWest/United at the Vail Valley Jet Center. As an airline employee, she travelled extensively, visiting over 15 different countries in Europe and Central America with her husband and work friends.

Shirl was an avid collector throughout her life starting in college with beer mugs and but later taking an interest in rocks, chicken décor, bird houses, pin-on buttons and household antiques. She also enjoyed watercolor painting. Everything on the family property has her mark.

As a mother, Shirl was actively involved in 4-H while raising her children. The family had about every pet imaginable, although the whereabouts of her guinea hen are still unknown. At times, her concern over the well-being of her sons could get the best of her and was known to go to great lengths to check on them, including harassing flight services in Alaska. Her daughter was a part of her everyday life and shared time, gardening , bargain shopping and always making a yearly run out to the Choke Cherry patch for jelly making. She was always without fail, a mom.

Spring was Shirl’s favorite time of year, when she would put her fire making skills to work burning brush, weeds and grass on the family property. After the fire department left, she would enthusiastically plant the new flowers, tend to the garden and wash the outdoor furniture. She kept the hummingbirds well fed on Brush Creek, measurable in gallons of water and pounds of sugar. Shirl along with her daughter, were also known to do any work needed to keep her summer flowers alive, long past the first frost.

Shirl took daily walks with both willing and non-volunteers as well as a lifetime of different dogs. She was an avid reader, giving suggestions to anyone who was in need of a title. She enjoyed cooking family style, her favorite meal was “Thanksgiving” any time of the year and was known to stock a minimum of three turkeys in the freezer. Cooking “Successful Hunter” pancake breakfast for her family and extended family member Drew, was always a Fall tradition.

Shirl loved to spend time with her family. Always eager to take any of her nieces and nephews on any adventure including trips to Denver to visit her niece Mara. She was also always willing to spend time on any project or trip with her parents, sisters and children. As her grandson Tristan grew, she taught him to play chess, board games, card games and never divulged she knew which ‘Old Bones’ card he had marked. She never once turned down a chance to look for bugs, listen to tall tales or read a book to Tristan. Shirl loved being outside and would often take Tristan along the trails on the greenspace behind the house and an adventure to Alaska in 2019.

She leaves behind her husband Raymond Zupancic and three children Joe (Robin Dillon), Kelly and Michael (Carel Nagata) and one grandchild Tristan. Siblings Kevin Norman, Lucille (Norman) Post, Charlotte Norman (Jack Tyler).

She was preceded in death by her parents Kenneth and Patricia Norman and her brother William ‘Billy’ Norman.

A celebration of life will be held at the Brush Creek Park and Pavilion, 909 Capitol St, Eagle, CO 81631 on Sunday June 5, 2022 from 2-5 pm.

Support Local Journalism