Shirley Del Ray Long

February 3, 1936 ~ January 25, 2021 (age 84)


Shirley Del Ray Long age 84, passed away peacefully on January 25th, 2021 at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, WI surrounded by family. 

Shirley was born February 3rd, 1936 in Genoa, WI to Lenwid (Sam) and Virginia (Armotto) Sandvick. Shirley was baptized and confirmed at the De Soto Lutheran Church. Shirley graduated from De Soto High School in 1954, after that she went to U.W. La Crosse and was a Licensed Practical Nurse. Shirley went on to become an incredible teacher at small country schools in Racine, WI as well as De Soto, WI. Shirley was invited to one of her student’s birthday parties and when she got there, there were several of her students that she had taught. It was one of her most memorable experiences. 

Shirley married Robert Long December 19th, 1959 at Our Savior Lutheran Church in La Crosse, WI.  Shirley and her husband Robert were blessed with two sons Michael and Kevin. Shirley and Robert bought Sandvick’s restaurant and transformed it into The Captains Restaurant in De Soto, WI and operated it for several years.   In 1995 Shirley retired and became a homemaker for Robert and her. Shirley was a huge Green Bay Packer fan; she was even a shareholder. Shirley enjoyed watching her religious programs, Packer’s games as well as reading her Bible. After her stroke in 1995, her vision was compromised and Robert would read the Bible to her and continued to do that on a regular basis, she really enjoyed that.  Shirley loved all her family, but her Grandson Zane was always very special to her. 

Shirley was very spiritual and has touched so many lives. Shirley and Robert were members of the Southside Christian Church in La Crosse, WI and had a very special church family. Shirley was extremely giving and selfless. Shirley would always put others needs in front of her own. Shirley contributed so much time putting on De Soto school reunions. One special reunion held at the De Soto high school even had an Elvis impersonator. Shirley will be missed by everyone; she was one of a kind.

Shirley’s surviving family members are her husband of 61 years Robert D. Long of De Soto; son Kevin D. Long of La Crosse; Brother Lenny Sandvick of De Soto; Sisters Eva (Herb) Spalla of Racine, and June Creager of La Crosse; Grandson Zane De Beck (Kristina) of Bourbonnais, IL and two Great Granddaughters Tessa Kay De Beck and Sophie Rae De Beck. 

Shirley was preceded in death by her son Michael Ray Long; her parents Lenwid (Sam) and Virginia Sandvick (Armotto); sisters Sandra Abbott and Darleen Timmer.

Shirley’s favorite hymn was Amazing Grace. 

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found was blind, but now I see.”

 A celebration of life will be held sometime this summer and all who knew and loved Shirley are invited to come and fellowship with the family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

The Thorson Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Viroqua is proudly serving the family.

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