Shirley Munch
Shirley Munch

Obituary of Shirley Munch

Shirley Ann (Crosby) Münch, age 79, died September 14, 2012 as a result of complications of a stroke and her stubbornness. Shirley was born near the Teton Mountains in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on September 13, 1933. She grew up amidst the Great Depression and with her three brothers and one sister, her family worked as ranchers, farmers, carpenters, and store clerks among other occupations. A two room house with no indoor plumbing was Shirley's first home where a wood stove supplied with aspen and pine served as the main heating source. In 1936, Shirley moved to the South Park area where she lived on a 160-acre dairy where the family cared for cattle, hogs, chickens, and horses. After fighting cold weather and long snowy winters, Shirley's family moved to Payette, Idaho in 1943. From a young child, Shirley was always a hard worker. Working on the farm in Payette, Shirley did many various farm chores, washed dishes, picked fruit, and cleaning house for a couple of ladies in town. In high school, Shirley worked at the Charm Theatre in Payette where she sold tickets and ran the candy counter. Seasonally she worked at a fruit packing shed and the Payette Cannery. After graduating from Payette High School in 1951, Shirley joined the United States Army on her 18th birthday. After basic training, she was stationed for a short time at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. She was then assigned as a secretary to an army chaplain on Governors Island, New York. While on Governor's Island, Shirley played on the Army softball team, traveling to other posts to play games. She was able to travel with friends to many states for vacations with their families. Many trips were take to Greenwich before it was Greenwich Village. She would sit with friends on the seawall at Governor's Island and pitch their empties at the Statue of Liberty - which they never hit. Shirley was honorably discharged from the Army in 1955 and returned to Payette. After a year as a secretary at Marshall Furniture Company (makers of church furniture), she began her college career at Boise Junior College (B.J.C.) in 1956 where she became a responsible dorm mother since she was a little older than the other students. She helped stage various escapades and pranks, once getting caught sneaking back after curfew. After graduating in 1958 from B.J.C., she enrolled at the College of Idaho (not Albertsons College!) where she finished with her degree in 1960, followed by a Masters degree. All the while she continued to work at B.J.C. in the cafeteria and for the Army Reserve at Gowen Field. Shirley began her teaching career and shortly thereafter married Josef Münch, a gentle soul with a tough exterior, at St. Matthew's Church in Ontario, Oregon on June 1, 1963. She completed her entire 31-year teaching career at East Junior High in Boise beginning in 1960. She could tell you the names of most all of the thousands of students (and often their siblings even if she did not teach them) and many of the seating arrangements she used teaching English, reading, and P.E. Many of her former students (who called her Mrs. S.A.M.) often share funny stories about her and say she was the best teacher they ever had. She coached basketball and volleyball for many East Hornet teams. In 1966, Shirley and Josef lost their newborn daughter Angela, but then raised two sons Eric (1968) and Marc (1971). Shirley and Joe loved and supported their kids, trying to give them all the opportunities and things that they never had. Teaching school meant long summer vacations filled with gardening, drying and selling flowers with her sister, time with her dogs, and camping and fishing with fellow Elks Lodge members near Pine, Idaho. Shirley read the newspaper from front to back every day and always completed both the crossword and Jumble puzzles. Shirley truly loved Josef, her parents, her brothers and sisters, her kids and grandkids (Oliver, Edith, and Emily), her nieces Dava, Salene, and Nikki, her Suncrest Drive neighbors, her fellow teachers, military veterans, and long-time friends from the Idaho State Penitentiary and the Ada County Sheriff's office. Her husband Josef, her daughter Angela, her son Eric preceded Shirley in death. After losing her closest family members in recent years, she lost much of her spirit…these were difficult times for her. She treasured her independence and demanded that nobody was going to tell her what to do! Shirley is survived by her son Marc, daughter-in-law Alyssa, her three grandchildren, her brother and sister, and several nieces and nephews. There will be a viewing on Thursday, September 20, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. at Summers Funeral Home, 1205 W. Bannock Street, Boise. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 21, 2012 at Summers Funeral Home. A short graveside service with military honors will follow at Morris Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Idaho Humane Society ( or the charity of your choice.
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