Shirley Lee Fagan
April 15, 1927 – July 26, 2020
Shirley was born April 15, 1927, in Yuma, Colorado to Ward and Lelia Fagan. She lived near Wray, Colorado until moving to Henderson in 1930. She had a brother, Ward, a Major in the Army, who died in 1993, and a sister, Lelah, who died at birth.
Shirley attended grade school at Henderson Grade School, where her father was principal, and graduated from Brighton High School in 1945. She attended Central Business College in Denver before starting her first job as a secretary to the agents of the Adams County Extension Service in Brighton. After a brief period of employment at the co-op warehouse in the billing department, Shirley was hired as a secretary and bookkeeper for Brighton High School. Shirley’s career in education followed the footsteps of her parents, who were both teachers. She was named Colorado Educational Secretary of the Year in 1978. After 39 years at BHS, Shirley retired in 1993.
Retirement didn’t slow Shirley down, but instead gave her more time to focus on her passions in life: performing music, chasing trains, and serving her church.
Music had always been an integral part of Shirley’s life. She began playing saxophone at age 7 and continued to play late into her life, still able to “play a mean sax” even when she was unable to read music. Shirley’s talents earned her membership in the Broomfield Civic Orchestra, the elite John Philip Sousa Band in Denver, and the Brighton Euterpean Music Club, among other groups. Some highlight performances include performing at two separate national conventions of the National Association of Educational Secretaries.
Shirley also had a love for trains, influenced by her love of history and her brother’s model railroading. She was a member of the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club and frequently participated in excursion train rides on tourist trains like Durango-to-Silverton and more obscure locomotives that made runs up to places like Laramie and Julesburg. When ticket prices got too costly, Shirley adopted a new hobby: chasing trains. She would time her adventures to the train schedule, and while the train barreled next to the highway at 60 mph, she would drive 70 to get ahead of it for the perfect picture.
Shirley spent over 75 years as a part of the Henderson Community Church, doing everything from playing in the church band to decorating for special events to custodial work – joking once that the only thing she hadn’t done was serve as minister. Shirley’s faith and devotion to God remained strong until her last moments.
Shirley never married, but was close to her brother’s three sons, Greg, Steven, and Mark, and their families. She is survived by her nephews Steven and Mark Fagan; nieces-in-law Karen Rutter-Fagan and Sheila Fagan; and seven great-nephews and -nieces: Claire, Brien, Brianne, Nicolle, Sydni, Marcus, and Caleb. She is preceded in death by both her parents; her sister, brother, and sister-in-law, Rogene; and nephew, Greg.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Aug. 5 at Henderson Community Church. Due to the recent pandemic and social distancing requirements, seating will be limited.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Shirley’s name to the Henderson Community Church
Due to COVID-19 stipulations, limited seating and attendance is required for Shirley's funeral service.
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