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Shirley Louise Brandenburg Elfbrandt

January 7, 1933 - March 4, 2021

There will be a celebration of life on April 17th, 12pm at Faith Lutheran Church of Lacey (7075 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey WA 98503).  For those who cannot attend in person, you can watch live from your computer, tablet or smartphone at  You can also listen in by phone at  (571) 317-3122 and enter access code: 326-609-037

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Faith Lutheran Church of Lacey or South Sound Reading Foundation (

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Shirley Louise Elfbrandt (Brandenburg) passed away on March 4, 2021, in Olympia, Washington. Shirley was born at home to Henry and Lillian Brandenburg in Denison, Iowa, on January 7, 1933. Her love, and fight, for education began in a one room schoolhouse, in Vail, Iowa, where she attended until 8th grade. From there she graduated from Denison High School, earned a teaching certificate in Kansas, a Bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University, and a Master’s degree from SMU.

For those that knew her, her love of reading was apparent. Her passion for learning and reading led her to a career in education, she worked as a reading specialist and primary teacher in the Olympia School District. After her retirement she remained an active volunteer reading with students for many years.

She married Kenneth “Bud” Elfbrandt on June 27, 1971. Together they built a strong community of family and friends, traveled the world, and followed their curiosity. Along the way they shared the world and their worldview with their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and entire family. Ken preceded her in death on January 17, 2012.

Shirley was a long-time member of Faith Lutheran Church in Lacey, Washington, and a longtime volunteer with the school, Sunday school, and VBS. She was a very active member of the LWML, including a time as president.

She was unapologetically intelligent and independent. She fiercely held on to these character traits and pursued her interests in a time that it was not common in women. The following generations of         Brandenburg and Elfbrandt family members are grateful for the example.

Shirley is survived by her sisters, Ruth Ilten, Joyce (Stephen) Kinnersley; her brother Ed (Barb)        Brandenburg; her step-daughter Kennie (Tom) McDowell; 6 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

There will be a celebration of life on April 17th at Faith Lutheran Church of Lacey – time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Faith Lutheran Church of Lacey or South Sound Reading Foundation (