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Shiela R. Ettlich

Shiela R. Ettlich passed away quietly at home in Ashland, Ore. Saturday, March 7, 2015.

Shiela was born January 28, 1937, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in the midst of the Depression. Her father soon joined the Army Corps of Engineers building army bases and air strips during the war years. Shiela lived alternately in Iowa with her aunt and then with her parents after they settled into each new assignment. At the end of the war they all moved to Eugene, Ore., where her father built dams and water systems for the local utility. There Shiela met Ernest Ettlich during junior high and they married in 1958. Shiela followed him through his career in higher education and she became a professional Christian educator working at the local and regional levels.

When they came to Ashland in 1977 she increasingly became a caregiver to her mother. That experience changed her professional focus to gerontology and she completed her college training at Southern Oregon University in that field. She became a social worker in a care facility through which she met Dorothy Straw, a geriatric nurse who headed senior services for a local hospital. The two of them developed and operated the Trinity Respite Center in Ashland to provide respite care for senior adults experiencing dementia, support services for their caregivers, and training for nursing and program staff in agencies and facilities. They also worked with university academic programs to create more effective care and services. She retired 10 years ago.

Shiela and Ernie had two children: Sherry, a university professor and administrator at Southern Oregon University and Steve, an investigator for Adult Protective Services. They also adopted several individuals who have become part of their family, especially Alan Summers a CPA, Roger Beltz an analyst with DEA, Jack Coggins a financial adviser, and most recently Becky Lee a sales specialist with Harry and David.

Her memorial service will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Medford.

Shiela R. Ettlich