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Shirley Ann Dummer

August 21, 2023 | 13 comments

Shirley Ann Dummer, 93, of Holmen, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully Friday, August 18, 2023, at her home surrounded by family.
She was born on April 28, 1930, to Julian and Henrietta (Geiger) Wenner. During her childhood in Chadron, Nebraska, Shirley would routinely ride her horse—Governor—to school. One year, she had a teacher who would meet her where the road crossed the state highway to ride with her to school.
In April of 1942, her family moved to Onalaska, Wisconsin, and later settled on a farm in Trempealeau. She would graduate from Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (GET) in 1947. It was while going out to dance in LaCrosse that Shirley would meet the love of her life, Francis “Franny” Dummer.
Franny and Shirley married October 2, 1951, at St. John’s Catholic Church in La Crosse. They spent their entire married life at the farm west of Holmen.
She was a doting mother, dutiful wife, and dedicated farmer. During their 42 years of marriage, they raised six children. In her free time, Shirley would take her love of writing from GET and began a career as a writer. She was the editor for the LaCrosse County National Farmers Organization (NFO) until it was discontinued. Later, she became an author, publishing 9 books from 1987-2006.
She also loved hosting family and friends at the farm, going to breakfast on Sundays, reading, and sitting in her recliner watching TV.
Shirley is survived by her sons James “Jim”, Robert “Bob”, and Thomas ”Tom” Dummer; daughters Kathy Dummer and Jane (Dummer) Stogbauer; daughter-in-law Kathleen “Kathy” (Sonsolla) Dummer; 18 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Francis “Franny” Dummer; son, Michael “Mike” Dummer; daughter-in-law Donna (Pedretti) Dummer; grandson Gregory Dummer; and her parents, Henrietta “Hattie” and J.C. “Buster” Wenner.
Thank you to Mayo hospital and hospice for making Shirley’s last days as soothing as possible. Special thanks to Heidi Antonneau, for being with Shirley and her family during difficult times.
A prayer service will be held at St. Elizabeth in Holmen, Wisconsin, on August 24, 2023, at 6:00 pm. Moreover, a Celebration of Life will take place at the Town of Holland on August 25, 2023, from 4pm-8pm.
Today we are celebrating a life, not a day to be sad but a day to be joyful. God has been good.



  1. Gail Stogbauer Hintz

    Jane, Jamie, Benjamin and all. My sincere sympathy is extended to you and the family. Shirley was a remarkable person and I was fortunate to have met her and purchase some of her books. I will treasure them always. I am keeping all of you in my prayers. I know my brother Tim loved Shirley too. God bless all of you. Love, Gail Stogbauer Hintz. Great writing job Ben, so proud of you.

    • Karen Wallace & family

      Jim & family: With Deepest Sympathy in your loss of your Mom; Grandma, loved one! ❤ I didn’t know Shirley real well, but when I was working at Prairie Homes, she came to see one of our tenants at that time who was a good friend to her. I spoke with her a couple times at the grocery store also. May she rest in peace! ? ❤

  2. Dennis & Linda Sobkowiak

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Shirley enjoyed a long wonderful life and will be missed by so many.

  3. Mary (Michels) Hamman

    My sincere condolences to the Dummer family. May her spirit continue to be a guiding light in your life’s journey.

  4. Ann Eggleston

    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and prayers for all. I know Shirley will be missed by her loving family. She had a wonderful life and family both giving and receiving support from each other. Truly an example for all of us. My thoughts and prayers for Shirley and all her family.

  5. Judy Scheidegger

    Shirley was a very special lady and I will miss her. My thoughts and Prayers are with the family.

  6. Tosh Manuel (Anne Sobkowiak)

    You were a hard worker and you and Franny were a nice couple. My sister Irene read all of her books. It is now time to celebrate her life.

  7. Christine Michels

    Through the many life trials endured by our family, she was our rock. For that I will always be grateful to Shirley Dummer for being someone we looked up to while passing on her extraordinary strength.

  8. Jerry and Carol Vacek

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family. Always enjoyed seeing Shirley. She certainly had a long and fruitful life. A life to be celebrated and a legacy to remember and pass on.

  9. Kristy Benrud

    I’m sorry for the loss of your mother. It sounds like she lived a great life. There is truly a reason to celebrate went to my friend Jane my heart goes out to you and the rest of the Pham.

  10. Joan (Mason) Everson

    Sorry to hear of Shirley’s passing. We had many many good times together, while we were young and dating. In later years got together for lunch. Will remember the good times.

  11. Shari Baxter

    Shirley was a very special lady. I was fortunate enough to cut her hair these last few years.I will miss her very much. my thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

  12. Judy LaFond

    Bob and family so sorry for your loss, our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

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