SHIRLEY DECKER SCHRECK KERR
Shirley Decker Schreck Kerr, formerly of Keokuk, Iowa, and Keosauqua, Iowa, passed away on Friday, November 24th, 2023, at the Heritage House in Carthage, Illinois, where she had been residing for the past year.
Shirley was born on July 8th, 1937, to Edith J. Decker and Carl W. Decker.
Shirley grew up in Keokuk and attended Keokuk Public Schools and First Christian Church of Keokuk. She was a member of the Keokuk High School Class of 1955. During her school years she was in the Pep Squad and enjoyed photography. She especially enjoyed taking photographs of her friends. Her first job was at Peter’s Dairy Ice Cream Shop.
Shirley was first united in marriage to Paul Schreck. Of this union, 7 children were born: Stephen, identical twins Douglas and Dennis, Lynn, Arlin, Lorraine, and Lisa.
Later, she was united in marriage to Leon Kerr on January 7th, 1984, at First Christian Church in Keokuk, with whom she welcomed Leon’s three children: David, Sherry and Lee.
Shirley worked very hard throughout her lifetime, sometimes having three jobs at the same time to support and care for her children. She was blessed with the help and support of her wonderful parents and brother Carl.
While in Keokuk, Shirley was the manager of Beef, Bread, & Brew as well as the first Submarine Shop in the mall for her classmate and friend Bob Pearl. She also worked at the Knotty Pine Restaurant for her friend and former babysitter Clyde (Butch) Mitchell and Denholm’s IGA Grocery Store as the Deli Manager, which is also where she met Leon.
She was also a past member of the BPW.
Shortly after marrying Leon, they moved to Fairfield, Iowa, where Shirley ventured out of her comfort zone and took a position in the advertising department at the local newspaper. Next, she decided she would then try her hand at selling furniture at Heilig- Meyers in Fairfield. She really enjoyed working there, but after a few years in Fairfield, Shirley and Leon decided to move to nearby Keosauqua for a new adventure. They bought the popular Town & Country Tavern, where they worked side by side building what would be a very successful business and making many lifelong friends. For over 30 years, Keosaqua would be their home.
Shirley was a wonderful cook and always made enough to send some home with whoever came through her door. She enjoyed planting flowers and vegetables all around her home. She loved caring for her husband Leon, who had Parkinson’s for many years. In their early years, they enjoyed flying out to Las Vegas, sometimes without telling anyone that they were going until they were already back home. In their later years, they would frequent many of the local casinos instead of Las Vegas, while also buying and flipping homes in the area. When at home, they enjoyed watching the St. Louis Cardinals.
Shirley had a special companion, Snoopy, a black Cat. Snoopy was such a comfort to her when it became harder for her to walk. She also enjoyed reading local cookbooks and cooking magazines, while also playing cards with her friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Leon, her parents Edith and Carl Decker, sons Douglas, Dennis, and Arlin, brother Carl Decker, sister Maurine, nephew Joe Decker, great nephew Bobby Sackman, and her mother and father-in-law Sibyl and Clark Kerr.
Shirley is survived by 7 children: Stephen Schreck, Lynn Price (Steve), and Lorraine Worrell of Keokuk, Iowa, Lisa Lorton of Fort Madison, Iowa, David Whalen (Vicki) of Keizer, Oregon, Sherry Whalen of Riverside, California, and Lee Kerr (Shelley) of Mediapolis, Iowa, 1 niece: Chris Sackman, 12 grandchildren: Brad Schreck, Brett & Cole Price, Trent and Tori Lorton, Kierra Bullard, Devan and Amanda Williams, Chad and Travis Worrell, Aaron, Eric, and Nick Whalen, Skylah Kerr,Savannah Kerr and Grace & Michael Headinger, and 6 great grandchildren (as well as one little Whalen girl on the way).
Funeral services will be held at 1 pm on Thursday, November 30, 2023, at First Christian Church in Keokuk, with burial to follow at Sunset Memorial Park in Keokuk. Visitation will be held at the church from 11 am to 1 pm directly before the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Heritage House in Carthage, Illinois, or First Christian Church in Keokuk.
Tributes and condolences may be left at dejongsfuneralhome. com.
DeJong-Greaves- Printy Funeral Home of Keokuk is in charge of arrangements.
Service can be live streamed at the Dejong- Greaves-Printy Funeral Home Facebook Page