A Family Funeral Home

Shirley Ann Bogucki

February 9, 1935 - December 25, 2021
Racine, WI


Life Story / Obituary


After 68 years together, 6 weeks apart was simply too much. Shirley Ann Bogucki (nee: Joos) joined her cherished husband in eternity on Christmas Day. Shirley was born in St. Paul, MN on February 9th, 1935, to Theodore F. Joos and Lottie H. Joos (nee: Gower.) She was their third child, but the only one to survive birth, making her all the more precious to them. Growing up in Alma Center, WI, she spent her childhood surrounded by a large, and closely knit, extended family, including 52 cousins. When she was seven years old, her mother bought her a pony when her father, a railway postal clerk, was away at work. It was then that Shirley became a life-long horse lover. She liked to share the advice her grandpa gave her about training that pony, “first, you have to be smarter than the horse” a technique she discovered would also work well for raising children later on. After moving to Racine, WI as a teenager, she caught the attention of her future husband, Edwin, when he saw her riding her horse in the fourth of July parade. They would share a mutual love of horses throughout their life together. Married in 1953, they lived in Baltimore, MD while Ed served in the army. After returning home to Racine, Ed left his job in 1959 to become a freelance fine artist and Shirley devoted herself to taking care of their business affairs as well as raising a growing family. The limited income of a so-called “starving artist” meant that she had to find ways to live economically. A large garden, tended by the whole family, provided food all year ‘round. Shirley taught her children to be frugal and self-sufficient. She made endless sacrifices without complaint so her children were provided for and her husband could have the lower stress environment he required to create the art they relied on to live. In time, hard work led to success and their business travels took them all over the United States. Shirley loved to travel, by car, or train, or on the cruises she adored later in life. She could skillfully pack a car with enough luggage and food to last 6 people and a couple of dogs for up to 10 days, and still manage to fit in a painting or bronze sculpture that was being delivered to a client. She loved landscaping, and gardening on the 5 acres surrounding her home and there was always some sort of project underway. Indeed, Shirley enjoyed planning so much, it was almost a hobby in its own right. Everything from redecorating, to new business ventures, or her favorite, family “get-togethers.” As a mother, she was completely devoted to her children. Quick with encouragement and so proud of every accomplishment, no matter how small. She shared her love of nature and animals with them and made sure their lives were filled with dogs, cats, horses, and birds. In her later years she enjoyed watching the large flock of wild turkeys that inhabited her property, as well as cuddling with her unfailingly devoted doggie companions Pixie and Penny. The trials of her failing health made her final years frustratingly difficult. In the end, when they were powerless to help her any longer, her family gathered around to talk and share the stories she loved, in the hope that she would hear their voices and laughter and tears and know that they would always treasure the best thing she had given them, each other. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Edwin A. Bogucki, her parents, and two siblings that died in infancy. She is survived by her children, Steve (Debi) Bogucki, Robin (Taichi Chen) Bogucki-Chen, Sheri (John) Wirtz, and Kathi (Jim Ferrell) Bogucki; as well as her 9 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Her family are forever grateful to the amazing team of caregivers (Sheri, Kathi, Angel, Ina, Temeeka, and Mima) that allowed her to stay in her home where she so rightly deserved to be. Because they always did everything together, a joint memorial celebration will be held for Shirley and Ed in the Spring. If only she could be here to help plan it, she would have loved that