Shirley Petersburg, age 89, of Decorah, died Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, at her home in Decorah surrounded by her family, after a short battle with cancer.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at the Decorah Lutheran Church, 309 Winnebago Street in Decorah, IA, with Rev. Peter Kowitz presiding.  Burial will be in the Phelps Cemetery.  

There will be no visitation prior to the service.  Everyone attending is asked to wear a mask.  For those that cannot attend, the service will be livestreamed. The link for watching the lifestream will be provided on the funeral home website at  

Memorials may sent in memory of Shirley to her family: 1106 Division Street, Decorah, IA 52101.Shirley was born at home in Kensett, April 28, 1931. She was the only child of Arthur and Nettie Nelson and was baptized and confirmed at Bethany Lutheran Church. She graduated from Kensett high school and then moved to Mason City and worked as a telephone operator. Her full-time job was raising her four boys. Shirley married Marlin (Pete) Petersburg from the Iowa community of Joice, on Dec. 22, 1953 while he was stationed in Kaiserslautern Germany with the Air Force. While in Germany they bought a child lederhosen outfit in case they ever had a boy. They had four. They lived there until he was discharged in 1954. They moved to the family farm in Joice, which they worked for five years before he joined Grinnell Mutual Insurance Company. They lived in Oelwein, Charles City and Grinnell before moving to Decorah in 1976. They considered this to be their hometown.

First and foremost, Shirley loved her boys. She loved family above all; she looked forward to Sunday breakfasts to catch up on current events. She was a big fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and also enjoyed watching professional golf. Shirley loved her time at the river with family and friends. Shirley had a big heart and put others above herself.

Shirley is survived by her four sons:  Wayne (Diane) Petersburg of Decorah, Randy (Linda) Petersburg from Waukon, Brian (Kathy) Petersburg of Decorah, and Scott Petersburg from Madison, Wis.; four grandchildren Ryan (Krista) Petersburg, Sarah (Jason) Orton, Megan (Scott) Holte and Alyssa Petersburg. She was also blessed with seven great-grandchildren. Survivors also include brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Floyd and Marian Petersburg. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Marlin; parents, Arthur and Nettie Nelson; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Edwin and Mabel (Suby) Petersburg; brothers-in-law and spouses: Donald and Eunice Petersburg, James and LaVone Petersburg; sister-in-law, Muriel and spouse Oswald Rognes; and stepmother, Myrtle Nelson.

Schluter-Balik Funeral Home of Decorah is assisting the family with the arrangements.