School 21


Dr. Shirley Ann (Wermager) Eiken

February 25, 1939 ~ May 28, 2018 (age 79)

Dr. Shirley A. Eiken, age 79 of Winona, peacefully passed away, Monday, May 28, 2018 at her home surrounded by her beloved family.

Shirley Ann was born February 25, 1939 in Spring Grove, MN to Grant and Bernice (Humble) Wermager.  She grew up on the family farm and learned the importance of hard work.  She carried her saxophone back and forth from school so that she could practice an hour a day.  She continued her passion for playing the saxophone through college.  She graduated from Rushford High School; BA degree from Luther College; Masters degree from Winona State University; Doctoral degree from University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.  She was the youngest doctoral degree recipient in the State of Colorado. While attending graduate school she also taught at Cresco and Greeley High Schools.  Her first post-doctoral teaching job was at UW-Whitewater.

In 1966, she and her then husband, Everett, moved home to Winona to begin a family and forge lifelong teaching careers.  Dr. Eiken was a professor at Winona State University for 36 years, retiring in 2002.  She took on many leadership roles at WSU, including Faculty Senate, A2C2, IFO, and multiple other committees.  She loved teaching the youth of the world and touched many lives through her long career in education, as well as her endeavors outside of academia.

She would say, however, that her most important "job" and satisfaction in life came from her commitment to her family.  Beth and Brett were the focus of her life.  As a family, they built a house on a special piece of land on Garvin Heights.  It was a labor of love and provided many years of happiness.  After retirement, she enjoyed travelling the world, playing with her grandchildren, and prolifically reading everything from novels to current events.  In her final years she faced adversity with the determination and grit that had served her well her whole life. 

She is survived by two children: Beth (Mike) Adams, Stillwater, MN and Brett (Angela) Eiken, Trempealeau, WI; four grandchildren: Evan Adams, Avery Adams, Halie Eiken and Brode Eiken; two sisters:  Maureen Welder, Rochester, MN and Sheryl (Harley) Foster, Stanton, MN; and many loving nieces and nephews.  She is also survived by Kaye Eiken (Al Skalet) and dear friend Maggie McDermott (Andy Groth, and children Kellen, Gabby, and Dannah), and many other friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Lela Olson.

A Memorial Service in Shirley's honor will be 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2018 at Fawcett Junker Funeral Home, Winona.  Visitation will begin at 3 p.m. and then continue after the service during the reception at the funeral home.  In lieu of flowers, memorials to WSU Foundation, Winona Hospice, or Callista Court preferred. 

Services entrusted to Fawcett Junker Funeral Home and Crematory, Winona, MN and Fountain City, WI.   Words of sympathy or remembrance may be left at


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