Alpha Roberta Hirl

Thursday, June 21, 2012
Alpha Roberta Hirl

Alpha Roberta Hirl passed away on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, at Life Care Center in Greeley, Colo. She was born Dec. 11, 1913, to John Albert Simonson and Ella Elizabeth (Algoe) Simonson on a farm near Duncombe, Ia. She attended rural schools and graduated from Duncombe High School in 1930. She graduated from Tobin Business College, Fort Dodge, Ia., in 1931, where she learned her stenotyping skills.

Roberta was employed as a secretary/bookkeeper in Fort Dodge until she married James E. Horrigan on Jan. 15, 1943, in Clarksville, Tenn., where Mr. Horrigan was stationed in the Army. Following his discharge from the Army, the family settled in Indiana and lived there until Mr. Horrigan passed away from cancer on Feb. 25, 1946. The family returned to Fort Dodge, where Roberta worked for various corporations until she relocated to Spencer, Iowa, where she was employed by the Drs. Christienson Medical Clinic.

On March 9, 1967, Roberta married James E. Hirl and became mother to his four children. The family relocated to Des Moines, Iowa, where Roberta was employed as secretary to the President of the American Chiropractic Association. In June 1974, Roberta and Jim moved to Greeley, where Roberta worked with Jim in providing Capp homes to many families in the area. Mr. Hirl died Dec. 16, 1989.

Roberta was a member of Saint Peter's Catholic Church, Cor Marie and the Greeley Senior Center. During her active life, she played the piano and she and her sister sang at most of the weddings and funerals in their farming community. She also was an accompanist for many choirs, organized and directed the Mothersingers, a group of moms whose children attended the same school as Roberta's, sang in the Webster County Women's Chorus and was President of Sweet Adeline's in Spencer and Des Moines. She was the first woman to serve on the Little League board in Spencer, where both her boys played baseball. She was an accomplished knitter and Christmas stockings and intricate sweaters are her legacy to her far-flung family.

Roberta is survived by her children: Caia L. Berning of Greeley, D. Greg Horrigan (Judith) of Norwalk, Conn., Dennis Horrigan of Greeley, Patricia Longstaff (Jim) of Cazenovia, N.Y., Rev. Beverly Hughes (Wayne) of Plano, Texas and James D. Hirl (Harriet) of Papillion, Neb.; 14 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Ella Simonson; husbands: James E. Horrigan and James E.. Hirl; son, Richard Hirl; daughter-in-law, Claudia Hirl; son-in-law, Louis Berning; and sister, Clarine DeWinter Boyd.

Mass of Christian Burial occurred Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at St. Peter's Catholic Church. Interment will be at 11 a.m. Friday, June 22, 2012, at St. Ann's Cemetery in Long Grove, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Life Care Center for a CNA (Certified Nurse's Assistant) Scholarship Fund in care of Stoddard Funeral Home, 3205 West 28th Street, Greeley, Colorado 80634.

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