Shirley Swick – UPDATED


A Celebration of Life Memorial Service for 91-year old Shirley Swick of Holdrege, NE, and formerly of Gordon, NE, are Friday, March 15, 2024, at 11:00 at the Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home in Gordon with Pastor Terry Pflugrad officiating.

Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Rushville, NE.

Online condolences may be left at

Shirley Swick was born May 30, 1932, asΒ the youngest of 3 children of Dale and Emily (Coon) Young. She passed away on March 1, 2024, at Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege.

Shirley spent her childhood years growing up on the family ranch, homesteaded by her grandparents, Wilber and Alice Young, not far from Shell Lake, northeast of Gordon.  

As soon as she was old enough, she assumed responsibilities that go with growing up on a ranch such as milking cows, tending chickens, and her favorite job of riding her horse to check fences and stock tanks.  She spent many hours with her horse roaming the sandhills near the ranch.

Throughout her school years, Shirley and her mother stayed in town during the week in the home that her Grandpa Wilber built. Other school girls from nearby ranches often boarded with them.

Shirley received her education from the Gordon Public Schools and graduated from Gordon High School in the class of 1950.  She enjoyed journalism and public speaking, but loved being involved in high school operettas.  

During high school Shirley met a handsome young man named Gerald Swick, and they married in June 1950, shortly after her high school graduation  Gerald worked for his father, Leslie Swick & Sons Well Drilling, until he was drafted into the U-S Army.  

Shirley and Gerald briefly lived in Kentucky while he was training for a future deployment to Korea, then returned to Gordon in 1954 where their first daughter, Sherrill Lynn was born. 

Later that year, they moved to California and in1956 they welcomed their second daughter, Teri Lee. The family moved to Grants Pass, Ore, in 1963 where they ran their own landscaping and nursery business. There they welcomed their third child and first son Kenton Leroy in 1965.  

The family returned to California and made their home in the Sonoma County wine country area of Kenwood from 1966 through 1971 when they came back home to Gordon. 

Shirley spent her time raising her family and making the adjustment from California to Gordon easier for her children. She never missed an opportunity to see her son perform with the Stagecoach Band.  

She was involved with the American Legion, baked pies for the Sale Barn, and was active in the Gordon Adventist Church. Shirley was also a care-giver for several elderly Gordon women and had a true commitment toward helping others.

She was immensely proud of her family and her independence after Gerald passed away in 1984. 

The family she leaves behind includes her 3 children: Sherry Bayliss of Holdrege; Teri Forster and husband Smokey DeWeese of Holyoke, CO; and Ken Swick and wife Susan (Luebke) of Laramie, WY; and her 6 grandchildren: Stephanie (Forster) Chaney and her husband Dale of Haxtun, CO; Melanie (Bayliss) Freeman and her husband Dustin of Loomis, NE; Heather Bayliss of Omaha; Kayla (Forster) Hiatt and husband Johnny of Papillion; Brandon Swick of Laramie; and Hannah (Swick) Curran and husband Ben of Thermopolis, WY.

Shirley also leaves behind 9 great-grandchildren: Emily (Chaney) Martinez and husband Antony of Fort Collins, CO; Anna Chaney of Lincoln, NE; Ryan Chaney of Haxtun; Shawna (Freeman) Downey and husband Ashton of University Place, WA; Tyson Freeman of Loomis; Braxton Herrley and Hayes Hiatt, both of Omaha; and Jordyn and Caleb Curran of Thermopolis; Shirley also has the distinction of leaving behind two great-great-grandchildren: Noah and Luca Martinez of Ft. Collins.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Gerald, her parents, her brothers Vernon and Virgil Young, and numerous other family members.

Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home in Gordon is in charge of arrangements for Shirley Swick