Shirley Ann Fischlein Ipsen, 80, passed away at Denver Health Center in Colorado on Aug. 9, 2023. Shirley was born on Dec. 22, 1942 in Davenport, Iowa to the late Hazel Irene Krug Fischlein and Joseph Xavier Fischlein. She was the youngest of four children and was a bit of a surprise to her three older brothers Joe, Bob and Dick.
She grew up on a farm off of what is now 110th Avenue southwest of Davenport and, at an early age, developed a great love of horses. This love continued through her life despite her falling off her first horse and breaking an arm. This horse, which turned out to be a stallion, was quickly replaced by a more docile equine. She spent many days riding on the farm and around the neighborhood on her horses Beauty, Babe and Gypsy, the latter she raised from a foal and trained. Some of these rides were with neighbors, including the Strohbehn family, which lived next door. She passed this love of horses onto her daughter and several nieces.
Shirley received her first communion on May 10, 1953 from Saint Joseph’s Church in west Davenport. She completed the eighth grade at the Blue Grass Community School District and was a member of the first graduating class of West High School in Davenport in 1961. She graduated in 1962 from the Rex’s Beauty Academy in Davenport. After working as a beautician, she worked as an office assistant at a business selling Olivetti typewriters and office supplies.
In 1970, she married the former David Robert Ipsen of Lone Tree, Iowa. They raised their two children on the Four Oaks Farm on the Sand Road south of Iowa City, Iowa. They divorced in 1994.
While her children attended Lone Tree Community School, she worked as a school bus driver for 13 years. She worked at ACT in Iowa City for many years until she moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico. She then moved to Florance, Colo. and then settled at Kavod Senior Living in Cherry Creek, Colo.
She is survived by her brother, Bob Fischlein; her children, Beth and Joe Ipsen; grandson, Xavier Ipsen; her best friend of 30-plus years, Betty Rosse; many beloved nieces and nephews and their families; and many friends throughout the years.
There will be a celebration of life from 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20 at the Ecumenical Tower in downtown Iowa City.
Please call Beth at (907)347-0638 for more details.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation at www.msfocus.org
Shirley’s wishes were to be cremated and her ashes sprinkled in the horse pasture of the farm where she grew up and felt the most free. Her children will take her on one last road trip from Colorado to Iowa to fulfill her wishes