January 2, 1936 - January 1, 2020 Shirley Dean Harjes, 83, of Mount Vernon, passed away on January 1, 2020 in her home surrounded by her loving family, one day shy of her 84th birthday. Shirley was born January 2, 1936 in London, England to Elizabeth and Henry Dean. She was one of nine children and they lived in London during the outbreak of WWII in 1939 at which time the children were all evacuated and separated and sent to live with strangers, which was extremely difficult for all of them. During the war her parents and baby brother were bombed out of their home and fled with very few belongings. With help from the local Vicar, they were all eventually reunited in Oxford where they resided as a family together once again. Her younger years were not easy as she contracted diphtheria at age three and rheumatic fever at age nine and was again separated from her family as she was hospitalized for six long months. The rheumatic fever took its toll, damaging her heart valves, which led to lifelong complications and eventually, to her passing. Shirley graduated from school and went to work to help support her family. In 1954, she met her loving husband, Howard, who was stationed at Upper Heyford Air Force Base during the Korean War. In January 1955, at the tender age of 19 she bravely boarded the Queen Mary and traveled seven days across the Atlantic Ocean to New York where Howard was waiting to welcome her. They drove to Angola, Indiana, where they were married on January 15, 1955. They continued to drive across the country to Minnesota to meet Howard's family and then on to California where Howard completed his military duty at March Air Force Base. Shirley was able to stay with her sister Pat who was living nearby with her husband. Once Howard was discharged in August of 1955, they moved to Moorhead, Minnesota where Howard attended North Dakota State University to earn his degree as a pharmacist. After his graduation in 1958, they moved west to Oak Harbor, Washington where Howard secured his first job as a pharmacist. Their first daughter Denise was born in 1956 and was the light of their lives. She always said that Denise saved her, as she so desperately missed her family in England and was very happy to start a family of her own with Howard. They continued to live in Oak Harbor until 1962 at which time they moved to Mount Vernon where Howard continued his career in pharmacy. Their second daughter, Lisa, was born that year making their family complete. Shirley was a wonderful mother and homemaker and involved herself in her children's school activities including Camp Fire Girls. She was protective of her children, likely the result of her own childhood fears and experiences, fiercely advocating for her own as they grew into adults. Time beyond the responsibility of family life was limited but cherished and square dancing with Howard was a favorite activity. She excelled in a variety of hobbies including sewing, knitting and crocheting. Shirley and Howard loved spending time in their beautiful backyard garden that was brimming with gorgeous flowers and hanging baskets. Orchids were her favorite and there was always one blooming somewhere in the house for everyone to enjoy. She was a proud member of the Daughters of the British Empire, starting the local Covent Garden Chapter in 1967 along with seven other English women who became lifelong friends. She was regent and treasurer and faithfully supported this organization for over 40 years. These committed members tirelessly created many handmade crafts to raise money for seniors of British ancestry. Over the years, there were many trips to England to see family as well as family trips to Penticton, Canada to have fun on the sandy beaches. She and Howard loved their annual trips to Hawaii to relish the beauty, peace and quiet time that they both greatly enjoyed. Welcoming grandchildren to the family brought another level of joy and meaning to their lives. In 1991, grandson, Shane, was born to Denise and Mike, and granddaughter, Lauren, followed in 1994. Shirley and Howard were thrilled at having grandchildren and their lives changed as they embraced their new role as grandparents. They spent countless joyful hours helping out and attending school and sports functions as well as babysitting both over the years. Shane and Lauren brought her such happiness and she was so very proud of them as she watched them grow into loving young adults. Shirley's love and loyalty ran deep when it came to her family, both near and far. She cared for many family members and friends in times of need and had an uncanny way of knowing what needed to be done or said to make those she loved feel safe and secure especially during times of illness. We are so grateful for the unwavering love and care she extended to those closest to her. Shirley will be greatly missed by family and friends and, though she is gone, she will be always with us, safely tucked into our hearts and minds. Her spirit will live on and our lives are greater because of her goodness, her deep love, her caring compassion and wisdom that will live on in our hearts forever. God Bless you...may you rest in peace until we meet again. Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, four sisters (Cissy, Dolly, Gwen and Betty) and her son-in-law Lee Newman as well as many loving pets. She is survived by Howard, her devoted husband of 65 years, Lisa Newman (Lee, in spirit), Denise (Mike) Stoupa, grandchildren Shane Stoupa and Lauren Stoupa. She is also survived by her sisters, Pat in California, Ann in England and two brothers Michael and Harry, both in England, as well as many nieces and nephews. She had a special place in her heart for her niece Sue who she dearly loved who lives in England and came to visit many times over the years. The family would like to extend their thanks and gratitude to her caring physician of many years, Dr. Sloan Winkes, Visiting Angels and Hospice of the Northwest for their care during her final days as well as Connie LeSourd at Kern Funeral Home and all our family and friends for their love and support. In keeping with her wishes, there will be no funeral services and Shirley will be laid to rest in a private family ceremony. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (PO Box 19024, Seattle, WA 98109-1024) or Hospice of the Northwest (227 Freeway Drive, Suite A, Mount Vernon, WA 98273) You may offer your condolences and share memories of Shirley to her family online at www.kernfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are through Kern Funeral Home, Mount Vernon.