Shirley Koenen

Date of Death

April 28, 2023

Shirley Koenen, an adored mother, grandmother, and the loving core of the Oswald family, passed away on Friday, April 28, 2023, at the age of 92. Born in Illinois, Shirley spent the majority of her life in Montecito and Indian Wells where she has been spreading love and joy since she moved to California in 1962. Shirley is the mother of 7 children: Debra, Sharlyn, William, John, Lucinda, Robin, and Timothy, as well as 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She was known for her charm, supportive nature, unwavering kindness, and unparalleled class — she was a true matriarch, bringing her family together often through her hospitality and warmth.

In her early years she was an adventurous traveler. South Africa was one of her favorite places to visit, but her passion for adventure never wavered, and even in her older years she was always planning her next trip to Europe or Hawaii. Shirley knew how to have a good time, and never let her age stop her: she enjoyed being behind the wheel of a fast car, could rake in the cash in a game of gin, and she was an avid golfer with a formidable putting game that was known from the Valley Club to El Dorado. Her love extended well beyond her children to her many friends and neighbors, and she was a great lover of animals, especially dogs, which she treated with immense respect. She was a woman of grace and poise, but did not shy away from her family’s many adventures, enjoying her children’s company on many a wild ride, even in her old age.

Shirley’s life was one of love, joy, generosity, and adventure. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her and couldn’t help but to love her.


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