Sharon F. Stigen
May 20, 1937 - June 5, 2016
Sharon F. Stigen, 79 years 16 days, passed away the afternoon of June 5, 2016. She was preceded in death by her mother Hattie M. Gentry/McIalwain/Nelson in 1989 and her father Claud Lyle McIalwain in 1951 and a baby brother along with many other friends and relatives.
She is survived by her two children David L. Stigen and Debra K. Stigen of Salem Oregon; her older brother Darrel
McIalwain, his wife Edith, and their kids Del, Cheryl, Don, Darcy, Charity and grandkids; her younger brother Troy Nelson his wife Collen and kids Pall and Ross from Minnesota; her older sister Mary McIalwain Johnston and her kids and Lonnie and their kids from South Dakota; her younger sister Lela McIalwain Kruse and her kids Kitty and Kim with her kids; her youngest sister Jenene McIalwain, Engle, Barbknect and her kids Tracy, Tammy, and Taren and their kids from Minnesota.
Sharon Fae McIalwain born in Estherville, Iowa on May 20, 1937, where she lived until the family moved to Ogilvie, Minnesota where she lived and went to the Ogilvie Methodist Church when her dad died in a tanker wreck/explosion when she was 14. The construction company that was building Highway 23 near the family home in Ogilvie, Minnesota when her dad died, stopped working nights until they were well past the family home. She had to miss school to do the field plowing and planting but, the neighbors found out from their kids and several of them brought their bigger tractors over and quickly finished the plowing and planting so she could go back to school. She worked in the café at the train station in Hinckley, Minnesota at 17 before she met and married Charles Stigen from Pine county Minnesota. They moved all around the country living in most of the states west of the Mississippi and a few east of there too. Sharon and her kids moved to Astoria, Oregon the first time, from Dallas, Texas two weeks before President Kennedy was shot, in November of 1963 then a few months later she was flooded out of her home for a few days when the earthquake in Alaska caused a tidal wave all along the west coast in 1964 during the building of the "bridge to nowhere" from Astoria across the Columbia river to Washington. She also lived in Montana during the construction of the Yellowtail Dam at Ft. Smith, Montana. Later she moved back to Cambridge, Minnesota. She bought a house next door to the A&W in December of 69 but the previous owners wouldn't move out because their new house wasn't ready for them. The house she lived in burned down On Christmas Eve morning. When we came home from visiting her sister in Milaca after midnight, the house was on fire, the only thing the Cambridge fire department was able to save were the presents under the Christmas tree. She had to move us in with her mother in Grasston, MN for two more weeks until the people would move out of the house Sharon owned the month before. Sharon bought a motorcycle and really enjoyed that, she worked at a grocery store in Cambridge and on a dare she rode it through the aisles of the store. After living there, a while, her marriage not being good, she moved to an apartment in Cambridge. After she divorced, she bought another house not far from the old Cambridge feed mill. While big building construction was going on just north of her house, the dump trucks would roar past her place so she went out and stopped one of them and told him there was a blind lady that lived there and she liked to drive her car uptown a lot so, they better slow down just in case she was backing out the driveway, after that they all slowed down. She laughed for years about that. Later she moved to Mora, Minnesota then on to St. Cloud, Minnesota. Then Sharon moved her Daughter to Rapid City, South Dakota, due to Debbie's asthma that was much relieved there. Then on to Beaverton, Oregon in 1989 before moving down to Salem a few months later when her daughter took a job with the State. Then she moved to Springfield, Oregon for a while then returned to Salem. After that she opened up The Strawberry Patch antique shop in Newport, Or. Moving back to Salem, Sharon opened another Strawberry Patch antique shop on Lancaster drive. She loved garage sales and taking her treasures to the antique shows where she became known as the hat lady. She loved chocolate fudge and the Arby’s on Lancaster has a sandwich she always ate called the Sharon Special and would prefer that over many other things. One of the last things I bought her was an 01 Harley-Davidson Electra glide with a trike kit on it before her surgery but, she only got to ride it one time the day I bought it. She also loved to go spend the night on the coast at the D-Sands Motel in Lincoln City.
Both of her kids were with her when complications from a surgery at Salem hospital left her too weak to recover after along torturous ten-day struggle to survive. Sharon passed just before 4 pm on Sunday the 5th of June 2016.
She will be greatly missed by all and was truly loved for her generosity, courage, strength, sense of humor, and joyful spirit: Not many have her wit and ability to make another feel better no matter what the situation, God bless and keep you Mother.
There will be a Celebration of life at her home at 4910 State St. Salem, OR. Anyone going by with an air horn, engine brake, or can crack the throttle of their Harley on the way by the corner of 49th and State St. Give her a little sendoff noise, she loved those sounds. All those that knew Sharon would be welcome, Saturday, June 18, 2016 anytime between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Call Debbie if you want to RSVP or bring something 503 510-6777.
Assisting the was Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service, Salem, Oregon.