Shirley Hensel


Shirley Ann Hensel, age 77, passed away peacefully on July 27 after a courageous fight to stay on this earth with her family and beloved dog, Tip.

Born March 14, 1942, in The Dalles, Oregon, Shirley was the oldest of four children born to Jerome “Papa” Voorhees and Arlene “Muh” Steiner Voorhees.

Shirley spent her childhood in both The Dalles and Umatilla where she enjoyed summer days on the banks of the Umatilla and Columbia rivers, school dances, movies at the Mor Theater, lifelong friendships, spending time with her grandparents and riding her horse, Pokey. Shirley was fearless and somewhat of a competitive daredevil. We particularly love the story of her gravel-speckled face after a bareback race at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds. She was the only girl and placed second.

Shirley graduated from The Dalles High School in 1960. Her first job was at the Coffee Cup in Umatilla where she met and soon married Max Renick in 1961. Max and Shirley shared three “favorite” daughters, residing in Umatilla, Pendleton and College Place, Washington.

In 1977 Shirley married Frederick “Bill” William Hensel. They built their forever home in Hermiston and added another “favorite” daughter to complete the family.

Shirley was a kind and gentle person who loved spending time with her family and friends, reminiscing and telling stories. One of her favorites was the time we accidentally left her brother in Portland during a family yard sale trip. Shirley was a homemaker and provided weekend cleaning services for local businesses. She enjoyed caring for her home, dogs, yard and garden. She was very artistic and loved to paint and refinish furniture. She painted Winnie the Pooh characters in her daughter’s nursery, made countless Barbie clothes, Barbie furniture, knitted blankets, Christmas keepsakes and other numerous crafts. Her style, humor and trademark stubbornness will not be forgotten and Sunday Funday will never be the same.

Preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Bill Hensel, Shirley is survived by her four “favorite” daughters: Cheryl Stensrud (Chris), Carie Brosnan (Damon), Jana Smith (Randy) and Jami Hensel Baird (Brian); her grandchildren Jennifer, BreeAnn, Michael, Hailey, Shelbi, Carson, Conor, Carl, Brianne and Tanner; six great-grandchildren; siblings Janet Nagy-Leitch, Micheal Voorhees and Steve Voorhees; and nieces and nephews Gina, Ashley, Sarah, Kayla, Chris, Tony, Casey, Jeffery, Cody, Jordan, Matt, Rea, Garrett, Valry, Katherine, Mitchell and Heather.

A private graveside service will be held. Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of her life at the Tuscan Masonic Lodge in Umatilla, Oregon, on Friday, August 16, 2019, at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Shirley’s honor to Vange John Memorial Hospice Education Fund, 645 W. Orchard Ave. #500, Hermiston, OR 97838 or Pet Rescue-Humane Society, 1844 N.W. Geer Road, Hermiston, OR 97838.

Please share memories of Shirley with her family at

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.

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