Shirley Jean Temple

May 02, 1935 - February 26, 2023


Obituary For Shirley Jean Temple

Shirley Temple, longtime resident of Grande Prairie, AB, passed away gently on Sunday, February 26, 2023, at the age of 87 years, after a long and heartbreaking battle with dementia.

Shirley Jean Temple (nee: Sherk) was born May 2, 1935, to parents Marley and Elzbieta “Betty” Sherk who farmed in Huallen, AB. She was the second of three children and grew up on the family farm, loving horses and roguing grain fields. Because of her love for horses, she often escaped to the barn, leaving the inside chores to her sister Nora. Shirley practically lived on her horse “Sailor”, a retired thoroughbred, and she taught him many tricks.

She left the family farm to attend high school in Grande Prairie and university in Edmonton, AB, completing 2 years of a teaching degree. With this under her belt, she then began her teaching career in Grande Prairie.

Shirley married Virgil Henderson in Grande Prairie (1956) and had 3 children: Sheryl in Grande Prairie, Ron and Tammy in Iowa, USA. After the family returned to Canada in 1961, Shirley continued with her career teaching Home Economics.

As a newly single parent, Shirley returned to university to complete her teaching degree. She spent her entire teaching career of over 3 decades at Grande Prairie Junior and Senior High schools.

Shirley’s love of horses continued throughout her entire life, and she combined her devotion to God with her love of horses in her many years of service with Camp Wapiti.

Shirley married Wesley Temple in November of 1978 with their 5 children witnessing their union. Sherri, Brenda, Ron, Tammy, and Blair insisted that “Shirley Temple cocktails” be served at the reception.

Shirley will be mourned by her sister Nora Hassall, and her children: Sheryl (Melvin) Heikel, Brenda (Doug) Norton, Ron (Laura) Henderson, Tammy (Les) Virr, and Blair (Linda) Temple.

Also, left to mourn are her grandchildren: Julie, John, Matthew, and Amanda (Heikel); Alexa, Carlie, Chase (Norton); Elizabeth, Anne, and Robyn (Henderson); Jody and Leah (Virr); Brittany, Michael, and Braden (Temple); as well as 15 great-grandchildren, numerous in-laws, nephews and nieces, neighbours and friends.

She was predeceased by her husband of 33 years, Wes Temple (2011), her parents, and her brother Norman Sherk (1994).

Special thanks to the staff of the Enhanced Care Unit – Mackenzie Place for their personal interaction, love, and care which made the ECU Mom’s home for almost 2 years. Thank you also for extending your care and support to the entire family.

Details regarding a future memorial service for Shirley Temple will be announced.

Memorial donations may be made to Camp Wapiti (c/o McLaurin Baptist Church, 10913 107 Ave, Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 7P9), or to a charity of one’s choice.

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  • 03/06/2023

    Growing up in the States and living in Edmonton I didn't get to visit the farm often, but the memories I have there really stuck with me. Grandma Shirley would always put us to work, but there was always baking and treats to be had afterwards. My potato peeling is probably still not up to par but I often think of her when doing so. I also remember learning the hard way not to go to the barn by myself while the horses were out. Grandma just told me "you won't do that again will you?" I miss her and wish she could have met my husband, Moses.

  • 03/04/2023

    My thoughts and prayers for the family. Shirley taught me sewing in 1970-1972 at Montrose Junior High. She was so funny and loved to teach us. Because of her I really loved sewing. I still do till this day. RIP

  • 03/04/2023

    Sending my sincerest condolences to Brenda, Doug and all the families 👪. May you share many fond memories, for many years, and celebrate those "reminders" with a smile.... My best, Riley Stilling

  • 03/03/2023

    Tammy, Les, Jody, Leah and family. Offering our deepest condolences to you all. So very sorry for your loss. Charlene & Peter Clement

  • 03/02/2023

    I have so many good memories of Shirley working with the horses and all of us crazy kids at camp. She always kept us organized and amazed me with her toughness on the outside and softness in her heart. I saw her get stepped on by a horse and hardly make a peep, and also tear up many times when she talked about something important to her. What a dear lady. She will be missed but what joy and freedom he is experiencing now! Love you, Shirley.

  • 03/02/2023

    Only good memories of Shirley, whether it be a student in her cooking class, working with her on the camp committee, or just visiting with her. So sorry to the family for your loss.