Shirley Mae (Mentele) Chenchar, 82, from Des Moines, Iowa, passed away Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Memorial services will be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, in Clear Lake, at 11 a.m., Tuesday, July 22 and St. Augustin’s Church, in Des Moines, at 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 23.
Shirley was born in Farmer, S.D. on May 15, 1932, the daughter of Albert Anton Mentele and Mary Frances (Kessler) Mentele. She spent the majority of her childhood in Mitchell, S.D. where she graduated from Notre Dame Academy High School. After high school she went to St. Mary’s College in Omaha, Neb., where she met John Chenchar. On Aug. 22, 1953 Shirley married John Michael Chenchar at St. John’s Catholic Church in Omaha. They had five children, Mike, Paula, Kacey, Andy and Brenda.
Shirley was very creative and had a great sense of style and design. She shared these skills with many throughout her life. As a wife and homemaker in Des Moines, Shirley was active in St. Augustin’s Catholic Church, Altar and Rosary Society, Dowling Auxiliary Guild, Mercy Hospital Guild, Iowa Dental Auxiliary, Questers, PEO LL and LE Chapters, and more.
In 1985, after her marriage to John had dissolved, Shirley opened The Heart Of Iowa Market Place in Valley Junction, West Des Moines. Shirley used her creative skills to develop this Iowa-only specialty shop and gift basket business until 2002. During this time she served six years on the board of the WDM Chamber of Commerce, was active in Rotary, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Valley Junction Business Association, Executive Women International, Metro Women, and more.
In the 22 years before she retired in 2002, Shirley traveled the globe; with adventures to China, Japan, Philippines, Alaska, Cayman Islands, sailing in the Mediterranean to Nice, Sicilia, Malta, Corsica, Rome and Barcelona.
After selling her business, and with her itch to travel the world satisfied, she retired in Clear Lake. While living in Clear Lake from 2002 to 2011 Shirley once again shared her creativity and skills making gift baskets as a volunteer at Opportunity Village.
However, of all her accomplishments, Shirley was most proud of her five children and being a grandmother to her seven grandsons.
Shirley is survived by her five children, Mike Chenchar (Debbie), of Des Moines and their sons, Aaron, Matt and Jake; Paula Hanus (Ken), of Clear Lake, and their sons, Trevor, Riley and AJ; Kacey Dondero (David), of Virginia Beach, Va.; Andy Chenchar (Melissa), of Des Moines, and their son, Max; and Brenda Chenchar, of Des Moines; brother, Thomas Mentele (Sandy), of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and sister, Joanne Christofferson (Jerry), of Black Hawk, S.D.
Memorials may be made to St. Augustin Church, 545 42nd St., Des Moines, IA 50312 or the Clear Lake Arts Center at 17 S. 4th St., Clear Lake, Iowa 50428.