December 28, 2022

Shirley M. Epp

Shirley Epp, 88, of Lincoln passed away December 24, 2022.  She was born on May 16, 1934 in Jansen, Nebraska to John and Helene (Knispel) Zimmerman.  Shirley spent her childhood playing with her sisters Harriet and Angela, attending Sunday School and later teaching Sunday School and playing piano with her life-long best friend Carol Barber.

Shirley married Richard Epp on November 25, 1953, in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  They were blessed with 4 daughters while living in Nebraska and then moved their small family to Rice Lake, Wisconsin, to work for a brother in the livestock business. They moved back to Lincoln in 1972 and called it home.

After graduating from Fairbury High School in 1951, Shirley worked for the Elgin Watch Company. She worked for Wright Products in Wisconsin before returning to Lincoln and retiring from Square D in 1999.

Shirley loved creating.  She taught herself to sew at an early age and made her own patterns.  She played the piano as well as the accordion.  She fished and hunted with her dad who also taught her how to carpenter.  There was no project too big for her to tackle, from moving walls to adding a deck onto her home or adding an additional bathroom to her basement.  She was independent well into her 80’s as she did all of her own yard work, snow shoveling, getting up on the roof and all of her own home maintenance.  She loved nothing more than planting flowers and making her home her pride and joy.

As one of the granddaughters recalled, if there was one word to describe Shirley it would be selfless.  If she heard you mention something that you needed or wanted, many times she would show up at your house the next day with options for you to choose from. She loved sewing blankets for family and anyone that might need one.  She made sure that each new baby had a blanket made by her.

Shirley is survived by her children, Cindy (Rick) Paulus of Aubrey, TX, Kimberly Epp of Lincoln, Nancy Worster of Lincoln, and her sister Angela Zimmerman of Lincoln, 8 grandchildren, 21-1/2 great-grandchildren,7 great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Richard, parents John and Helene Zimmerman, daughter Lauri Muehlhausen and her sister Harriet Bates.

Shirley leaves a hole in the hearts of all the family and friends she leaves behind but we know she is rejoicing with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and reuniting with loved ones she has missed.

Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, December 29, 2022 at Christ Lutheran Church, 4325 Sumner St. Lincoln.  The service will be Livestreamed, you can watch by clicking HERE.

Visitation will begin at 1:00 P.M. on Thursday at Christ Lutheran.

Memorials can be made to the family for donation to Christ Lutheran Church or to the Mayo Clinic: Alzheimers/Dementia Research Foundation.




  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you nancy and all your family. Shirley will be missed she was such a sweet lady. Be strong for each other and you’ll never forget her.
    Sincere thoughts are with you

    • Thank you so much Pat. Yes you knew how sweet my Mom was from seeing her in the store so often. lol. Really gonna miss her but yes we will all be strong just like our Momma was. So nice to see you at the service. Thank you. Nancy and family

  2. Nancy and Family,
    My deepest condolences to you and your family. I pray your heart and soul find comfort and peace at this difficult time on this painful loss. May your mother live among you through her sweet memories and unconditional love.
    The universe received a new, beautiful star named, Shirley.
    Thinking about you all.
    Prayers and blessings,
    Amy Townsley

    • Amy, Thank you so much for your kind words. Our Momma was such a beautiful selfless person. Always taking care of everyone else. Raising us girls alone and widowed. She put her heart and soul into everything she did. She will definitely be one of the brightest stars!


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