Shirley Ione (Shelstad) Byman

March 19, 1932 ~ March 9, 2021 (age 88)


Shirley Ione Byman of Wheaton, MN peacefully passed away  on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at the age of eighty-eight.   She was surrounded by the love and support of her family, in her daughter Renae’s home in Cedar Rapids, IA where she was cared for while being treated for cancer.

A Memorial Service for family and close friends will be held Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wheaton with Rev. Cheryl Berg officiating. A Visitation will be held Friday, March 26, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Current Covid-19 restrictions will be closely followed with the wearing of facemasks required. 

Shirley was the third child born to Martin and Inga (Kleppe) Shelstad on March 19, 1932.  She was born at home on the family farm in Synness Township- Stevens County, Minnesota.  While growing up on the farm, Shirley was known to be a hard worker, especially in the fields, and she even hired out as a young age to the neighbors.  She became adept with all sorts of machinery, a skill that was helpful after marrying Floyd (Buddy) Byman, who also enjoyed farming.   

The center of all social life for the Shelstad family was the Drywood Lutheran Church, where Shirley was baptized, confirmed and married. Growing up Shirley also took part in Luther League and was also asked to sing for the congregation, as she had a beautiful soprano voice.  Known as the ‘Shelstad Sisters’, Shirley and her sisters sang countless hymns at the church and practiced while doing dishes on the family farm.   The family remained close throughout the years, even as they grew up and moved around the country.  Every summer there would be a family gathering.  After her parents were gone, her siblings Maynard, Bernice, Doris, Arlene and Eldon gathered at Christmas to play games and eat delicious Norwegian food.

Shirley attended country schools her first eight years and then began high school in Alberta, Minnesota where she graduated in 1949.  She then attended Moorhead State Teachers College, where she received her Associate Degree which enabled her to begin her long teaching career in Wheaton, Minnesota.  While she began her career as an elementary teacher, Shirley flourished as a Special Education teacher, a role she thoroughly enjoyed.  Shirley had a special touch with children, and her students adored her.  Numerous students have kept in touch over the years, and many became lifelong, cherished friends.  Shirley’s students would describe her as kind, patient, gentle and giving.

On August 22, 1954 Shirley was united in marriage to Floyd (Bud) Byman, a local farmer.  Wheaton, a community that Shirley loved, would become a forever home where she and Bud raised their four children: Keith, Greg, Roger and Renae.  As a mother Shirley was selfless, her children were her everything and she was their rock.   After losing her husband, Bud, in a farm accident in 1997, Shirley spent time in Iowa with her son and daughter, and made several trips to Minneapolis to enjoy her family.  Shirley was active in her church's WELCA program, volunteered with hospice and the Care Center.  She enjoyed riding bike and playing endless games of bridge over coffee with her close friends. Shirley was an avid Minnesota Twins fan, and treasured her time with her many friends and loved ones who considered her loyal, faithful, caring and supportive.

Shirley is survived by her four children: Keith (Annette) Byman of Ft. Myers, FL; Greg (Bonnie) Byman of Minneapolis, MN; Roger (Jill) Byman of St. Michael, MN; and Renae (Rick Fischer) of Cedar Rapids, IA; her sisters: Doris Matejka; and Arlene (Richard) Knutson; and a brother, Eldon (Ian) Shelstad, all from Alexandria, MN; and a sister-in-law, Betty Shelstad, of Montevideo, MN;  Shirley and Bud were blessed with ten grandchildren: Bradley (Kelsey) Byman, Brett (Emma) Byman & Bryce Byman; Ryan (Lindsay) Byman & Nathan Byman; Haley Byman, Reece Fischer & Addi Fischer; Samantha Scofield, Emma Gordon (Patrick); seven great granddaughters: Rylee & Kailey Byman; Lilli, Jaelynn, Stevie, June & Priscilla Gordon; and a great grandson, Nolan Byman.

Shirley is preceded in death by her husband, Floyd; parents Martin and Inga Shelstad;  a brother Maynard (Betty) Shelstad, a sister and brother-in-law, Bernice (Harold) Grams; and a brother-in-law, Glenn Matejka. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to: The Wheaton Senior Center Diner.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley Ione (Shelstad) Byman, please visit our floral store.


March 26, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
605 10th Street North
Wheaton, MN 56296

Memorial Service
March 27, 2021

2:00 PM
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
605 10th Street North
Wheaton, MN 56296

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