Shirley Dackawich was born to Edward and Mary McVay in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on October 2, 1928. As a young woman she met John Dackawich, a handsome soldier stationed near her home, married him, and headed out to Trieste, Italy, to join him for his three years of service.
On their return to the United States, while John entered college to begin his study for an eventual PhD, Shirley, according to her husband, earned her PhT (Putting Husband Through), by inspiring him; working at several white-collar jobs; and typing his papers, including an error-free dissertation of 350 pages, while rocking her second child in a cradle a foot away.
Once John embarked on an academic career, Shirley’s life became easier as a faculty wife. She and their children accompanied John on teaching assignments in Colorado, Long Beach, California, and Fresno, California. When John retired, he and Shirley moved to Visalia, California, to be nearer their grandchildren.
Shirley left behind her husband of almost 68 years John, son Rob Dackawich, daughter Nancy Jehle and husband Max, as well as three grandchildren: Zachary Dackawich, Neil Jehle and wife Kelli, and Chelsea Jehle.
A memorial service was held at Visalia Friends Meetinghouse on January 2, 2018.