Shirley Dean Brocesky
Shirley Dean Brocesky

January 8, 1927 - December 11, 2016
Born in Dallas, Texas
Resided in Denver, CO
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-Eulogy by Drew Brocesky

On Sunday, January 8, 1927 Shirley Harris was born in Dallas, Texas to Charles and Mary Harris. At the age of 2 they moved to California and at the age of 6 they moved to Colorado. For which I am eternally grateful.

Mom was raised in West Denver and lived on Delaware Street just north of 6th Avenue. She loved to roller skate on the sidewalks near Denver General Hospital because their sidewalks were much better than on the sidewalks in the neighborhood. She told me that she and her friends would hold their breath when skating past the TB building for fear that they might catch it. I worked in that building many decades later… I did not hold my breath while I worked there. Fortunately, I did not catch TB.

She attended West High School graduating in 1946. She was an only child but spent many years living with her two cousins, Gloria and Joan. They were pretty much like sisters growing up. She met Frank Brocesky who also lived on the West side and attended West High School. They fell in love and were married in 1948.

In 1950, they started a family when my sister Andi was born. 6 years later they added Melanie, then in 1959 my brother Todd… 10 and a half months later, Todd's Irish twin brother was born. That was Me.

We had a typical middle class life growing up. If you were to walk into the living room you might see Andy Griffith, Gilligan's Island, or the Brady Bunch on the TV. My mom loved to listen to music… She would listen to the classics from the Golden Age of Music. Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Barbara Streisand, Andy Williams just to name a few and the songs from all the Broadway musicals… And at times would be she would be so into the music she would dance…. In front of the window… Which was a huge embarrassment to us kids. She took the phrase Dance Like Nobody is Watching to new heights.

There were many lessons and gifts my Mom would give to us over the years. At Christmas, we learned about the gift of gratitude. For you see she made sure we did not get everything we wanted, but we learned to appreciate what we did get. She also taught us about manners…. where we learned the lesson in life that Repetition is the Branding Iron of Learning. Don't forget to say Please and Thank you. Hold the door for that person over and over and over until we got it.

Another lesson that we learned early and Todd and I can repeat without even thinking about it. When there were disappointments in life, she would tell us life isn't always easy and it isn't always fair. A lesson that has helped through many disappointments.

She was a very strong person but knew when to be tender. In my teen years when I was jumped by several kids on the way home from school, she reached out in tenderness. I was so full of pride and wanted to be tough so I rejected it. That is one of the regrets I had in life. It would be many years later when I was at the darkest time in my life. She again was there for me and it made all the difference in the world. It was there I learned the lesson love and of true forgiveness.

I was fortunate to have her in my life. She always had wise counsel. She taught us how to laugh, even in times of trouble. Perhaps, that is the lesson I learned the best.

In later years when my Dad was stricken with Alzheimer's, she became his primary caregiver. It was there that I learned the lesson of perseverance and compassion… In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, till death do you part.

We learned about discipline… I will let my brother and sisters expand on this one. I will just say the Bible teaches us … Whoever spares the rod hates the child, but whoever loves will apply discipline. I assure you… my Mom LOVED us.

Perhaps the richest part of our time spent with Mom was when we could serve her. Several years ago, she got lost driving a few times when she had to take a detour. It scared her enough that she decided she didn't want to drive anymore. We had a meeting and decided that each week we would rotate and take Mom to where ever she need to go and would almost always get to have some one-on-one time at lunch with her. I called it Driving Miss Daisy Duty. I used to get a smile out of her when I would imitate Dan Akroyd with his famous line from the movie… "You're a Doodle Mama." She often would tell us that she felt bad that we had to give up our day to drive her around… Are you kidding Mama? You changed our diapers, did all that you could for us throughout your life. It was an honor to be able to serve her. As much as we could ever try, we could never give to her to the extent she gave to us.

She often would express doubts that she was a good enough as a Mom. All the gifts, all the lessons, all the times she was there for us. The book of Proverbs teaches parents… Train up a child in the way that they should go. When they are old they will not depart from it.

Mama. You did an excellent job. You gave us what we needed to get through this mystery called life. You will live on through us. The best we can do to honor you is to carry the legacy of lessons and gifts you gave us and pass them out to others. I love you so much.

I leave you with this quote by Washington Irving
"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."

Shirley is survived by her children Andi (Rudy) Bauer, Melanie Smythe, Todd (Lori) Brocesky, Drew Brocesky; four grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.

Visitation was held Saturday, January 7, 2017, 9:00 am - 11:00 and a Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 am at Horan & McConaty Family Chapel, 1091 S. Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80246.

Memorial donations may be made in Shirley's name to Alzheimer's Association, Colorado Chapter, 455 Sherman Street, Denver, Colorado 80203.

Please share memories of Shirley and condolences with her family in the Guestbook below.





Horan & McConaty - Colorado
1091 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO US 80246
Saturday, January 7, 2017
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Funeral Mass
Horan & McConaty - Colorado
1091 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO US 80246
Saturday, January 7, 2017
11:00 AM


Alzheimer's Association - CO Chapter
455 Sherman Street
Denver, CO US 80203