Shirlee “Rabbit” Prior, 71

Shirlee “Rabbit” Prior

Cold Spring
Sept. 8, 1949 - Oct. 16, 2020

Shirlee “Rabbit” Prior, 71, of Cold Spring, passed away peacefully with family by her side, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, at Quiet Oaks Hospice in Rockville.

Shirlee was born to William and Iris Bruemmer of St. Cloud, Sept. 8, 1949, the second of seven children. She graduated St. Cloud Cathedral High School in 1967. Shirlee attended St. Cloud Technical and Community College for a degree in nursing. There, she met her future husband, James “Jim” Prior. The couple married in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept. 8, 1970.

They resided in Cold Spring where they raised four children. As a family, they loved to travel, going on camping trips across the country. Shirlee held different occupations in town, including being a nurse for Assumption Community Assisted Living.

Shirlee had a zest for life, always smiling and staying busy. She was known to all as a kind, caring and sociable person who loved life and helping others. She was an active member of St. Boniface Christian Women and the St. Boniface Catholic Church. She used her time and talents to make countless quilts and blankets which she donated to the Cold Spring Food Shelf, children’s homes, Quiet Oaks Hospice and for her children and grandchildren. She also sewed neck pillows for the Coborn’s Cancer Center, and, more recently, she made hundreds of masks for people, asking only for donations in return, which she then donated to the Cold Spring Food Shelf and Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Shirlee donated many hours of her time volunteering. For over 35 years, she helped coordinate the Christian Women’s annual clothing drive. She also volunteered at the Cold Spring Food Shelf, Fare for All in St. Joseph and at the Cold Spring American Legion fish frys during Lent. She would often be found in food or beer tents during events, serving on behalf of various community organizations. Her last donation to others was her body to the University of Minnesota for science and research.

Shirlee loved spending time with her friends and family, especially with her eight grandchildren. She enjoyed crafts, quilting, knitting and sewing; traveling, bicycling, playing cards, visiting with people and going for drives and motorcycle rides.

She will be deeply missed by her friends, family and all who knew her.
Shirlee is survived by Jim, her husband of 50 years; children, Scott (Jackie), Christopher (Michele), Tom (Kate) and Angela (Todd) Viere, all of Richmond; grandchildren, Dylan, Elleanna, Laina, Parker, Kaylie, Riley, Jack and Rena; siblings, Jerry (Darlene) Bruemmer of St. Cloud, Wayne (Betsy) Bruemmer of Stanton, Delaware, Donnie (Mary) Bruemmer of Backus, Judy Bruemmer of St. Joseph, Karen Theis of St. Joseph and Kevin Bruemmer of Eden Valley; and many nieces, nephews and lifelong friends.

Shirlee is preceded in death by her parents.
Friends and family may visit Tuesday, Oct. 20 between 2-6 p.m. at Tom Prior’s residence, 23057 West Torah Drive, Richmond MN 56368.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity or organization of your choice