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Thread: Shirley Van Dell

  1. #1
    President Member BobWaitz's Avatar
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    Shirley Van Dell

    Shirley Dawn Van Dell, 94, of Duluth, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family, May 27, 2017. She was born in Proctor, April 4, 1923 to William A. and Minnie C. Brayden. Shirley graduated from Proctor High School in 1941.

    Shirley married the love of her life, Leslie James Van Dell, in December of 1942. Shirley desired to leave Proctor, so in 1952 they moved to the Duluth side of Boundary Avenue and there they raised their family of seven children. Summer 1952, she drove Red Grover's stock-car in powder-puff races at the Proctor Speedway. During the 50's and early 60's she was branch manager for home party plans; Studley Jewelry and Santa's Helpers. Shirley also worked at the Kom-On-Inn in West Duluth and the Deluxe Night Club in Oliver, Wisconsin.

    Studebaker lineage began very early in Shirley's life. Her dad had used Studebaker wagons in logging and farming, then owned exclusively Studebakers. In 1968, son Jim enrolled her and Leslie in the Studebaker Drivers Club and from then forward Shirley carried the torch for Studebaker (and the car hobby) in Northern Minnesota.

    Shirley and Leslie were instrumental in forming the North Land Wheels Chapter, SDC in 1974 and had initiated a swap meet and car show at the Proctor Fairgrounds in 1972 which is now in its 46th year for 2017. She held positions in the SDC national and state organizations as Zone Coordinator and Regional Manager, edited and published the national award winning North Star Wheel newsletter for 14 years and in 1973, organized a Northern region of the MN Car Club Assn., which she coordinated until 1997.

    Years ago, the car hobby was more of a guy's thing and the ladies stayed home. That didn't seem fair and over time with a little encouragement, the wives, girlfriends and ladies with cars have become involved as well. "The Car Lady" has passed, but her legacy lives on.

    She was preceded in death by her husband, Leslie; son Michael Brayden; brother, Hershel; and beloved niece, Barbara Brayden.

    Shirley is survived by, daughter Verie (Mike) Scott; sons, Jim, Rick, Terry (Sandy), Ron, and Scott (Deanna); grandchildren, Mikkaela, Alanna, Ben, Sean, Travis (Rahne), Westley, Allyson (Eddie) Salas and Ezra Langham Van Dell; great-grandchild, Stoney Blackhawk Van Dell Jr.

    Visitation: 5-7 pm Friday, June 2nd at Bell Brothers Funeral Home, 601 N. 56th Ave. W. with visitation continuing on Saturday, June 3rd at 12:00 pm until the 1:00 pm Funeral Service at the funeral home. Please leave a memory of Shirley or words of support for the family at www.bellbrothersfuneralhome.com

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobWaitz View Post
    Shirley Dawn Van Dell, 94, of Duluth, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family, May 27, 2017. She was born in Proctor, April 4, 1923 to William A. and Minnie C. Brayden. Shirley graduated from Proctor High School in 1941.

    Shirley married the love of her life, Leslie James Van Dell, in December of 1942. Shirley desired to leave Proctor, so in 1952 they moved to the Duluth side of Boundary Avenue and there they raised their family of seven children. Summer 1952, she drove Red Grover's stock-car in powder-puff races at the Proctor Speedway. During the 50's and early 60's she was branch manager for home party plans; Studley Jewelry and Santa's Helpers. Shirley also worked at the Kom-On-Inn in West Duluth and the Deluxe Night Club in Oliver, Wisconsin.

    Studebaker lineage began very early in Shirley's life. Her dad had used Studebaker wagons in logging and farming, then owned exclusively Studebakers. In 1968, son Jim enrolled her and Leslie in the Studebaker Drivers Club and from then forward Shirley carried the torch for Studebaker (and the car hobby) in Northern Minnesota.

    Shirley and Leslie were instrumental in forming the North Land Wheels Chapter, SDC in 1974 and had initiated a swap meet and car show at the Proctor Fairgrounds in 1972 which is now in its 46th year for 2017. She held positions in the SDC national and state organizations as Zone Coordinator and Regional Manager, edited and published the national award winning North Star Wheel newsletter for 14 years and in 1973, organized a Northern region of the MN Car Club Assn., which she coordinated until 1997.

    Years ago, the car hobby was more of a guy's thing and the ladies stayed home. That didn't seem fair and over time with a little encouragement, the wives, girlfriends and ladies with cars have become involved as well. "The Car Lady" has passed, but her legacy lives on.

    She was preceded in death by her husband, Leslie; son Michael Brayden; brother, Hershel; and beloved niece, Barbara Brayden.

    Shirley is survived by, daughter Verie (Mike) Scott; sons, Jim, Rick, Terry (Sandy), Ron, and Scott (Deanna); grandchildren, Mikkaela, Alanna, Ben, Sean, Travis (Rahne), Westley, Allyson (Eddie) Salas and Ezra Langham Van Dell; great-grandchild, Stoney Blackhawk Van Dell Jr.

    Visitation: 5-7 pm Friday, June 2nd at Bell Brothers Funeral Home, 601 N. 56th Ave. W. with visitation continuing on Saturday, June 3rd at 12:00 pm until the 1:00 pm Funeral Service at the funeral home. Please leave a memory of Shirley or words of support for the family at www.bellbrothersfuneralhome.com
    Didn't know her but sure nice of you to list all you did about her. She must have been a very nice and interesting lady. Pass our condolences on the the family.

    Thanks Bob.

  3. #3
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this, Bob. She held the position of Treasurer & Membership of the North Land Wheels chapter right up to her passing.

    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

  4. #4
    President Member Deaf Mute's Avatar
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    I have been off the Forum for a few weeks and just discovered this.
    I took over from Shirley as Zone Coordinator back in 2000. She gave me much helpful information to do the job successfully. She was a great lady and will be missed.!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Mute View Post
    I have been off the Forum for a few weeks and just discovered this.
    I took over from Shirley as Zone Coordinator back in 2000. She gave me much helpful information to do the job successfully. She was a great lady and will be missed.!
    Shirley was one of the first SDC members I had contact with some 40 years ago. With her almost 50 years membership in SDC she will be remembered by a great number of members. RIP Shirley.

    Stu Chapman

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