Shirley Fonken

Shirley Fonken of Estes Park, CO died on September 8, 2022. She was born in 1932 to Herman and Frieda (Thomas) Gompert in Mitchell, NE. She graduated high school in 1950 from Sunflower School in Mitchell, NE. Shirley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics from Colorado A&M College. Shirley married her husband of 69 years Dave Fonken in Mitchell, NE on June 14, 1953 and had three children. She taught high school in Wellington, and Special Education in NE. and Bangladesh. She taught Home Economics in Pakistan and was a school counselor there as well, helping students secure admission to Universities in the US.

Shirley and Dave have traveled extensively, living in CO, AZ, CA., NE, IL, WY, NM, Bangladesh, Egypt and Pakistan. Living for 15 years in foreign countries immeasurably expanded her understanding of people, cultures and religions and brought a richness to her life and family. But to Shirley, her most rewarding accomplishment was raising her three children Royce, Gael and Paul.

Shirley is survived by her loving husband Dave Fonken, Children Royce and Loriana Fonken of The Villages, FL. Gael Fonken of St. Cloud, MN and Paul and Erin Fonken of Estes Park, CO. She is survived by seven grandchildren: David (Lizeth), Dale, Boomer, Delaney (Troy), Isaac (Anna), Elizabeth, Matthew (Diana), and three great grandchildren.

A private family service will be held at a later date. To leave a message to the family please visit the website at

“Her nurturing and compassionate soul will live in the hearts of her family and all those who have been lucky enough to have crossed her path.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.