Shirley Hesche

Shirley Hesche

Thursday, May 31st, 1951 - Friday, February 26th, 2021
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Obituary for Shirley Hesche

Shirley Jean Hesche passed away on Friday, February 26, 2021, of respiratory issues. She is survived by her husband, Tom Scheer; their son, Alan Scheer; his wife, Samantha; their daughter, Charley (the joy of Shirley’s last 4 years); and Shirley’s sister, Marilyn Hesche.

Shirley was born in Los Angeles, CA on May 31, 1951, the first of two daughters to Howard and Marjorie Hesche. The family relocated to San Diego in 1957, where Shirley lived the remainder of her life. After graduating from Monte Vista High School in 1969, Shirley went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from UCSD, and a Master’s degree in Special Education from SDSU. Shirley and her husband Tom met in 1975, while working at ARC, a day program providing support services for adults with Developmental Disabilities.They were married on June 25, 1978, and have resided in Spring Valley, CA since.

Shirley taught Special Education for young adults in the Sweetwater School District from 1975-1991, and for the San Diego Unified School District from 1991-2011, when she retired. During her teaching career, Shirley won two Teacher of the Year awards, and was instrumental in helping develop the TRACE program for S.D. City schools, a program that assists young adult students with disabilities as they transition from high school to adult life. She was the first teacher in TRACE to form a Student Governance to help provide leadership skills and advocacy for people with disabilities. Shirley was always a strong advocate for the rights of Developmentally Disabled adults, and helped organize People First, an organization which provides support for disabled adults to teach them to be self-reliant through education, to access resources, to develop leadership skills, and to participate in an annual People First weekend conference.

Shirley was a person of many interests and talents. Her love of color was displayed in her paintings of landscapes, flowers, people, and abstracts, using mediums of acrylics, water colors, and pastels. She was a skilled seamstress, making quilts, wall hangings, blankets, and clothing. She made her own wedding dress, and baked her wedding cake. Cook books abounded in her kitchen, and much of her enjoyment was in trying new recipes for family and friends. Her other hobbies included gardening, woodworking, stained glass, and photography. She was known for her love of animals, and her family has always included 2 dogs. Shirley and Tom loved to travel, making frequent trips around the country to visit National Parks, and to visit family and friends. They enjoyed 4 trips to Europe, including 3 cruises.

Shirley’s family and friends were most important to her. When help was needed by organizations, friends, or family, she was always willing to volunteer her time and efforts. Her wonderful smile and sense of humor brought love and laughter to all. She will be deeply missed by those who knew her. A “Shirley Hesche Foundation” for the People First organization is being established. Please consider a donation. For information, contact Debbie Marshall at San Diego People First: 619-913-8232. Additional information can be found on their Facebook page at:
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Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of Shirley
7 trees have been planted in memory of Shirley Hesche

John McKee

Posted at 12:26am
Thank you for all the incredible things you did for people who needed help. And thank you for being you. Live on in these trees.

5 trees were planted in the memory of Shirley Hesche

Plant a tree

S. Bouman

Posted at 03:49pm
Shirley and I shared a sense of humor that could get pretty 'dark' at times...and when the jokes got awkward for some in the audience I could always depend on Shirley to break the tension with that contagious laugh of hers. I'm lucky to have known her when she was in good health, and will always remember her one-of-a-kind ways of doing things that made us all smile so much.

Floyd Humphreys

Posted at 11:24am
What a wonderful Grandmother and friend. Shirley will be missed by everyone especially Charley !My thoughts are with all the Family . Floyd Humphreys
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Shirley Hesche — Plant a Tree Now

Stacy Williams

Posted at 07:57pm
I met Shirley while working at TRACE. I volunteered with Fairhaven Foundation under Shirley's leadership. Shirley loved working with students with disabilities and she gave her all to them. My favorite memory of Shirley is the time we went to San Luis Obispo for Darcies birthday! We shared so many laughs that just thinking about it brings a smile to my face. Shirley had a heart of gold and she will be greatly missed. My condolences go out to Tom, Allen, Charley, and her whole family! I am so sorry for your loss. May you find peace during this difficult time.

Tom Scheer Posted at 09:34am

Thank you for posting the TRACE photos, Stacy. I had trouble finding these, so I'm glad you were able to share some of the good times Shirley had with all of you! TRACE students and staff were such an important part of her life.

Lana McFarlane

Posted at 01:50pm
Our condolences to your family. Tom and Lana McFarlane
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Shirley Hesche — Plant a Tree Now

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