Shirley Mae (Hackbarth) Southard

Shirley Mae (Hackbarth) Southard


Shirley Mae Southard (Hackbarth), 87, of Clarion passed away peacefully on Friday morning, December 31, 2021 at the Iowa Specialty Hospital in Belmond suffering complications of COVID.  Shirley had been a resident at Clarion Wellness and Rehabilitation having suffered a stroke a year prior.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date at the Clarion Church of Christ.

Shirley Mae was born on February 24, 1934 to Herbert August and Mable Graff Hackbarth of Rowan, Iowa.  She attended Rowan Community School and later Iowa Central Community College, prior to working at Banker’s Life in Des Moines, Iowa.  As her fiancé, Leslie Keith Southard of Clarion, was serving in Korea, Shirley wrote to him continuously, as they knew their love was meant to be.  And as so, Shirley and Leslie were married on November 14, 1954 at the Rowan Methodist Church.

They lived on a small farm east of Clarion for a few years before moving to a larger farmstead south of town, of where they lived many years raising their family.

The Southard household was very active in the Clarion Church of Christ, where Shirley regularly taught Sunday School; and it was at the Church of Christ that she, Leslie and their three children were all baptized.

Though she was a farmer’s wife, Shirley worked for many years at the Wright County Monitor, Arrowhead Education Agency, Youngco, as well as Wright Medical Center, all of Clarion; and as so, in the 1990s, she and Leslie moved into Clarion to retire.

In her spare time, Shirley enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and walking with friends and neighbors.  Shirley will always be remembered for her perpetual good mood and her love for life.

Shirley Mae is survived by her husband, Leslie Keith Southard, her children Cindy (Jim) Aldrich of Fairbanks, Alaska, Teresa Markwardt of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Jeremiah Southard of Clarion, as well as numerous grand and great grandchildren.

She is also survived by her sisters Mary (Frank) Lester of Clarion, Charlotte (Norman) Pals of Belmond, Katherine (Louie) Hoopingarner of Rowan, and her brother Lester Hackbarth of Belmond.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Betty (Raymond) Swanson, Barbara Hackbarth, and by her brothers Herbie Hackbarth and David Hackbarth.

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