Shirley June Risch, 91, of Connersville passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family at her home on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
One of two children of Harry P. and Kathryn Moore Cates, Shirley was born in Connersville on April 4, 1929. She attended Maplewood School and graduated from Connersville High School with the class of 1947 where she was the drum major for all four years. She wrote articles for the Clarion newspaper and was editor of the Cohiscan her senior year. Shirley worked at Bragg’s Spartan Grill after school. During her senior year, she started work in the afternoons as secretary at Roots Blower. After graduation, Shirley worked there full time and was executive secretary to president Ralph Newquist. She was married on November 26, 1960 to Eugene Risch in Connersville. She worked as secretary at H. H. Roberson from 1961 until 1964.
While working as a secretary at Lingle Real Estate, Shirley obtained her broker’s license and has been affiliated with American Heritage Realty ever since.
Shirley served her community as past president of the Knights of Columbus Auxiliary, President of St. Vincent DePaul for over 50 years, and was one of the original and longest running diplomats with the Chamber of Commerce, receiving the Humanitarian of the Year award in 1995. She also was a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Indiana Association of Realtors from which she received the distinguished citizen award in 1990 and was realtor of the year from the East Central Indiana Board of Realtors that same year. Shirley received an award for outstanding and dedicated service as executive secretary for the East Central Indiana Board of Realtors in 1983. She served as secretary in 1977 to the Connersville Board of Realtors and received the top sales award in 1993. Shirley also was a member of and held offices in ABWA and BPW. She was a co-founder of the Reality Store with her sister-in-law, Jeanie Risch; and along with Patsy Miller started the St. Gabriel Church Bereavement Committee.
Shirley enjoyed playing golf and was an avid bowler, playing on the same team for many years and she donated her many trophies to the Sportsman Store so they could be recycled and given to young kids.
Shirley and Gene had many fun times at Myrtle Beach where they would go twice a year with their friends.
She liked to read, work on puzzles, play cards, taking pictures, baking, holiday decorating, gift giving, and most of all spending time with her family. She spent hours every year fixing special calendars for special people.
Most of all, Shirley loved spending time with her daughter Susan (Steve); grandchildren Ryan (Mallorie Nunier) and Derek (Shelby); great-grandchildren, Cole, Margo, Tyrion, and Oberyn; and sister-in-law, Mary Ann (Chuck) Snyder. She is survived by them and her husband, Gene, of 60 years. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, James Robert Cates.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Reverend Dustin Boehm at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at St. Gabriel Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Dale Cemetery. Friends may call from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 9, 2021 at Miller, Moster, Robbins Funeral Home where the Rosary will be recited at 3:30 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fayette County Animal Shelter or St. Gabriel School Endowment Fund. Online condolences may be made anytime at millermosterrobbins.com.