Shirley Mae Hawkins Grove, 83, passed away peacefully on April 18, at home in Escondido.
She was a beloved mother, sister, aunt and friend, the family social director who brought everyone into her circle of love.
Born in Winner, South Dakota to Claude Reed Hawkins and Esther Fredericka Hansen, she was the middle daughter, her siblings included Merlin, Rusty and Beverly. Her family left South Dakota and moved closer to family in Vista, living in a small house at the site of the current Vista High School on Bobier Drive. Claude unexpectedly died in 1946 while serving as a civilian firefighter at Camp Pendleton, leaving Esther to raise her four children. Esther’s example of resilience, was imprinted on Shirley in all that she accomplished.
Shirley Hawkins attended Vista High School. She married Walter Fisher of San Diego and had two daughters, Beverly and Roxanne. They briefly lived in Iowa City, while Walter worked on his Ph.D, then moved to El Monte and later Covina. She supported the girls’ school activities, Cam Fire Girls, dreams and aspirations, providing a nurturing home and cookies for family and friends. While in Covina, she studied at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and graduated from CSULA with a degree in Education.
After her divorce from Walter she moved to Colorado where she become a preschool director and a popular third grade teacher in Jefferson County Schools. She received her Master’s degree from Lesley College. Shirley had many dear lifelong friends. She was the family reporter, keeping up with birthdays, achievements and events. “She was the mom we all wanted,” noted a friend..
She moved back to Oceanside, California in 2001. She took care of her mother Esther and spent time with Guy Woodward, a special family friend and Carolyn Hawkins, her sister-in-law. After their passing, she reconnected with her high sweetheart Wesley Grove. Their romance was a fairytale come true.
Mrs. Grove is survived by daughters Beverly Fisher, Roxanne Richards, son-in-law Robert, grandchildren Martin Phillips, Challey Wittebort, Adrianna Ortenzio and families, including two great-grandsons, brother Russell Hawkins, sister Beverly Davis, cousins, nieces and nephews as well as her stepchildren Mike Grove and Roy Grove, Elizabeth Verich, Becky Herd and theirfamilies.
Shirley Grove’s Celebration of Life will be on May 18, at 11 a.m., at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1140 N. Midway Dr. Escondido.