Robert "Bob" V. Shirley


July 8, 1926 ~ March 2, 2023

Born in: Rolla, ND
Resided in: Fargo, ND

Bob’s service will be livestreamed below starting at 2 PM Thursday, March 9, 2023.

Robert (Bob) Vernon Shirley went to be with the Lord on March 2, 2023.

Bob was born July 8, 1926, to William and Nellie (Urschel) Shirley in Rolla, North Dakota. He graduated from Valley City High School where he was active in sports. He was a member of the highliners 1945 Class A basketball champions, co-captain of the Highliner football team, and was a member of the 1947 Viking football North Dakota small college champions.

He was drafted into the Navy in 1945 as a U.S. navy corpsman, medic third class, and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Farragut, Idaho. He later served six months at a naval air base in Maui. After the Navy, he returned to Valley City and attended 2 years at Valley City State University and then went on to the University of North Dakota where he graduated with a business degree. While at UND, he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

He worked for Phillips Petroleum for 11 years. He then went to work for his brother at the W. O. Shirley Construction company for 9 years.

He met his wife, Betty Jane Morris, and they married in 1967. They lived in Fargo, North Dakota. Their son, Troy came into their lives in 1969, followed by their daughter Holly in 1971. In 1976, they moved to Bismarck, North Dakota, where he worked for Ross Laboratories (Abbott Labs) for 19 years. He retired in 1996.

When he retired, they moved to Lake Melissa, Minnesota, and made the lake cabin into a home. They spent a lot of time at the cabin with family and friends and made life-long memories there.

In 2002, they moved back to Fargo. Bob worked for Sanford Medical Center in various roles as he drove special transportation for Care A Van, taking patients in wheelchairs or stretchers to various healthcare facilities in Minnesota and North Dakota. Care A Van became his second family.

Bob loved to hunt pheasants and geese and spent three years moose hunting at La Paz in Canada. He also enjoyed watching the NDSU Bison and attending games. He always had a smile on his face and a joke or story to share with everyone.

He is survived by his children, Troy (Nancy) Shirley of Bismarck and Holly (Doug) Roehrich of Bismarck; 5 grandchildren, Jordan Roehrich, Jonathan (Sydney) Roehrich, Brynn Shirley, Dawson Shirley and Kallyn Shirley; 1 great-granddaughter, Rory Roehrich.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his parents, William and Nellie; his sisters, Sylvia (Leonard) Bakken and Vivian (Herb) Bernardy; his brother, William O. Shirley; brothers-in-law, Warren Tarbell and Ed Gross.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Cancer Society.


Visitation - Wednesday: March 8, 2023 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center
123 10th Street
Fargo, North Dakota 58103


Visitation - Thursday: March 9, 2023 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center
123 10th Street
Fargo, North Dakota 58103


Funeral Service - Thursday: March 9, 2023 2:00 pm

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center
123 10th Street
Fargo, North Dakota 58103


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Memories Timeline


  1. May you Rest in Peace Uncle BOB !
    You gave the Gross’ SO much Laughter, and Great Story telling memories over the past years !
    But above all, my brothers and I thank you for all the fun and laughter you brought to our Mothers’ life over the last few years!
    I will dearly miss our dinner dates, and our one on one trips to Hornbachers
    Keep shining your light, as Heaven just gained another beautiful soul.

    Love you with all my heart Uncle Bob!

    Sheri Perala (Gross)

  2. The dearest and best looking uncle that anyone could ever ask for.
    Your niece Shirley & Grand nephew Derek

  3. Dear Troy, Nancy and family,
    Linda and I send our sincere condolences in passing of your dad and grandfather. We pray for God’s continued peace and comfort as you navigate through your grief. God bless each of you.
    Love you,
    Steve and Linda Aafedt

  4. Troy and Nancy,
    You have been faithful servants to your father throughout the years to his final days. Even as you grieve this earthly loss, may you celebrate the Lord welcoming him into His presence.
    Jot & Marietta Turner

  5. Bob truly was a one in a million….He was a part of our CareAvan family for the last 22years..actively driving for 16 of those years and great personal friend to all of us..we will miss his everlasting smile..good hearted spirit..and his forever response to any question you asked him….”fantastic”…which is how he viewed life…Thanks Bob for bring there when we needed you and allowed us to be there when you needed us…”We Love You Bob”…say Hi to auntie Shirley for us…

  6. I am so sad to hear about Bob Passing, I worked with Bob at Dialysis center and what a lovely person. The patients ask about Bob often. He was a Sweetheart.

  7. Loved seeing Bob at work ! His smile, humor and zest for life was infectious. Sanford Sleep Medicine Clinic team.

  8. Rest in peace Bob. We had many fun moments while loading and unloading clients during my time at CareAvan. You will be missed.

  9. Bob, our wonderful Veteran Bison Buddy! Doug & I will miss him dearly. Picking him up for all if those Bison football games… the football conversations… the popcorn, sodas & the best darn hotdogs money could buy! We will miss him dearly. Bison football will never be as enjoyable to us…. Missing Bob.
    Alana & Doug Christensen

  10. Couldn’t help but smile and admire the man the Lord gave my friend & brother Troy as his Dad as I watched the funeral service. I see much of him in Troy including humor, the love for the outdoors and a person flowing with grace. Loved the way you all honored him, friend, dad & grandpa.

    Derrick & Julie Grow

  11. Learning of your parents’ passing brought back memories of Bismarck and the Telstar Drive neighborhood.

    Judy and Paul Bodmer

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