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In Loving Memory

Nienhaus, Shirley

July 30, 1926 - December 26, 2023

Shirley A. Nienhaus

July 30, 1926 – December 26, 2023

Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, Shirley A. Nienhaus (nee Malone), 97, passed away Tuesday, December 26, 2023.  Beloved wife of 61 years of the late Homer Nienhaus.  Dearest mother of Cynthia (Robert) Lewis, Stephen, Drew (Jann), and Mary (Ramin Bavar) Nienhaus.  Cherished grandmother of Andrew (Sweeney), Michael, Brendan, Natalie, Drew, and Michaela Nienhaus.  Adoring great-grandmother of Griffin.  Dear sister of Robert Jr. (Cathy) and Ronald (Peggy) Malone, and the late Marchea (William) Klang.  Dear aunt, great-aunt, cousin, and friend.

Born July 30, 1926, in Biloxi, Mississippi, to Robert A. and Antonia J. (Budinich) Malone, Shirley was the eldest of four children.  The family moved several times as her father, a Woolworth store manager, was transferred to different cities, with most of her formative years spent in Kirksville, Missouri, which she always remembered with fondness.  She attended Washington University in St. Louis, from which she received her B.S. in Nursing in 1949.  She also met Homer Nienhaus there, and the two were married June 24, 1950, in Sedalia, Missouri.

Shirley worked as a registered nurse at St. Louis Children’s Hospital from the 1950s on while raising four children in St. Dominic Savio parish in the Pebble Hill neighborhood, into the 1980s.  She also was the school nurse at St. Dominic Savio grade school from 1968 to 1975, and even acted as attendant nurse for her daughter’s girl scout camping trips.

As a Catholic convert at age 12, Shirley’s Christian faith was central to her life.  She was an active member of the Daily World Missionnaires and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith since 1962.  A prayerful churchgoer and active parish member, she made certain that her children understood the importance of faith.  She enjoyed designing and embroidering bible verses in counted cross-stitch as special mementos for friends and family.  In later years she was a choir member at Christ, Prince of Peace Catholic Church and a daily communicant.  A great many of her friendships stemmed from the bond of shared faith.

Throughout the years, Shirley enjoyed music, dancing, swimming, tennis and playing bridge with friends.  But she was probably best known as a wonderful cook.  Her home-cooked meals, baked goods and fancy parties were appreciated by family and many friends.  This talent was passed down by her beloved mother along with Southern hospitality from her Mississippi and Georgia roots.  Shirley’s cherry pies, made with tart cherries from a backyard tree, were legendary.

Shirley had a deep love and respect for her beloved parents and cherished her family members and many friends, sharing her time generously.  She had a deep sense of responsibility and liked helping others.  As a mother, she was dedicated and selfless, working hard from morning to night.  Naturally interested in others, she made friends in every aspect of her life, and kept in touch with them.  She enjoyed travel to Europe and Hawaii, and especially loved going on family car trips all over the United States to visit family and friends, and corresponded with countless people. She was an active alum for Washington University, calling classmates about reunions and helping with freshman orientation.

Shirley’s last years were spent in independent living at Bethesda Orchard in Webster Groves, where she was joined by close friends and made many new friends.  There she enjoyed gathering with others for morning coffee, dinner and entertainment.

Shirley will be remembered for her dedication to God, family, and friends.  Her beautiful smile and twinkle in her eye will be greatly missed.

Services: Visitation at Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois Rd., St. Louis, MO 63123, Sunday, January 7, from 4-8pm; Funeral Mass Monday, January 8, 11am, at Christ Prince of Peace Church, 415 Weidman Rd., Manchester, MO  63011, with Visitation from 10-11am; interment on Tuesday, January 9, at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Rd., St. Louis, MO 63125, at 10:15am. Meet at Sylvan Springs Upper Parking Lot at 10 am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to a charity of choice or Mass cards would be appreciated.


8 thoughts on “Nienhaus, Shirley”

  1. I am so very sorry for the loss of your mother and my dear church friend, We sang together in decades ago in the Christ Prince of Peace Choir. My husband Michael sang with Homer. We were so fond of your parents. We so missed Homer after his passing and kept an eye on Shirley talking to her after Mass. She loved hearing Michael cantor. Shirley and my mother in law, Laverne are 6 months apart in age and we introduced her to Shirley at Mass. Shirley visited my mother in law at Orchid Terrace when she was looking for an independent living facility.
    Lavern’s has out lived her spouse and all 4 children. She’s now in a skilled nursing facility.
    I send you all my love and support. If I feel better from the pneumonia and sinusitis , I’ll try to come to the visitation. You will continued to be in my thought and prayers.

  2. What a sweet lady your mom was and she and our mom were lifelong friends from SDS. A great many friendships developed in Pebble Hill – I remember all the carnivals and ravioli dinners at SDS and all the times in the summers spent at Mackenzie pool and all the Bridge parties! So glad they all lived and met in Pebble Hill and the friendships remained no matter where they moved. What a great welcome party in Heaven occurred on 12/26! It’s so hard to lose your mom and so final but we know they are all in a better place. May your many great memories give you comfort at this difficult time. God Bless you all!

    • Well said, Kathy. We were all blessed to grow up in Pebble Hill, walking to school at St. Dominic Savio. What a bond we all had due to the special friendships shared by our parents. They were certainly an active group! I will always cherish my days growing up there.

  3. This is such a beautiful description of your Mother; and so many details are what I remember as well as the qualities our Mom raved about in her dear friend.! Our Mom treasured your Mom. May she rest in peace and May her wonderful attributes and blessings bring you comfort. Anne Blanke Koetting

  4. I loved Shirley. So full of life. So proud of her family and of being a nurse. What a great friend of Mom.
    God rest her soul.
    God bless you all with peace

  5. Jesus said you shall know the type of tree by its fruit. Well, I only got to meet Shirley Nienhaus a couple times when her son Drew was my classmate and even roommate at the Naval Academy. But since he is one of the best men I have ever known, then I also know that his mother Shirley was one of the best mothers and best people. Reading her obituary and the comments above, anyone can tell that Shirley Nienhaus’s life was a blessing to her family, friends, patients, students, church and community. “Her children rise up and call her blessed.” A good tree, indeed.

  6. I so remember Shirley at Christ Prince of Peace. She drove what seemed to be an oversized mini van. Maybe it seemed so large because she was so small. In the winter she always wore a knitted stocking cap – it looked great. A wonderful choir member and parishioner. Shirley was always smiling.

  7. Oh for the wonderful days spent in Pebble Hill and at St Dominic Savio parish. As your back yard neighbor I remember your parents and mine playing bridge and me babysitting at your home. My first job at age 11. Your mom will be remembered for her amazing smile and her enthusiasm for life and family.


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