Shirley Sondergard

Obituary of Shirley Sondergard

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West Branch, Iowa Shirley Marie (Pedersen) Sondergard, 85, of West Branch, a long-time piano teacher and church organist, died Monday, Dec. 29, after a short illness. Funeral services will be 10:00AM on Saturday, January 3, 2009 at the Bethany Lutheran Church in West Branch. Visitation will be 4:00-7:00PM on Friday, January 2, 2009 at the Henderson-Barker Funeral Home in West Branch. Burial will be in the West Branch Cemetery. Online condolences may be made to the family at Shirley was born June 29, 1923, on Rose Hill farm north of West Branch, the daughter of Anders and Constance (Jensen) Pedersen. She was proud of her Danish heritage and visited relatives in the northern Jutland region during the mid 1980s. A graduate of West Branch Community Schools, she married Harold C. Sondergard on March 16, 1946. She was baptized, confirmed, and married at Bethany Lutheran Church in West Branch. Shirley taught piano out of her home for over five decades, training hundreds of aspiring young pianists. She also was organist for Bethany Lutheran Church for over 60 years, and played for countless weddings, funerals, West Branch High School graduations, and other community events. In earlier years she worked as a secretary at the Cargill Plant in West Branch and later as a research librarian at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. Through that position and her willingness to rent rooms to visiting researchers and historians, she forged new friendships from all over the world. After retirement she volunteered as a Hoover Library docent and as a piano accompanist for plays performed for library visitors and also played for the Chautauqua event. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the TTT Club. Survivors include three children, Michael (Diane) Sondergard of Iowa City, Jeanne (Delbert) Rost of Manson, Iowa and Patricia (Robert) Hembre of Johnson City, Tennessee, grandchildren Collin Sondergard, Jeffrey Sondergard, Ryan (Cinnamon) Rost, Tricia (Bryan) Simmons, Kristin Hembre, Erik Hembre, Lisa Hembre, Michael Hembre, one great-grandchild Logan Simmons, and two brothers, Les (Liz) Pedersen and Ray (Tae) Pedersen, both of West Branch. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and a brother, Norman. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the music ministry at the Bethany Lutheran Church.


4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, January 2, 2009
Henderson Barker Funeral Home West Branch
201 Pedersen Street
West Branch, Iowa, United States

Funeral Service

10:00 pm
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Bethany Lutheran Church
235 South 2nd Street
West Branch, Iowa, United States
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Shirley Sondergard

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Shirley Sondergard

1923 - 2008

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