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Shirley Clausen

September 9, 1931 - August 6, 2021

A Life Well Lived


By April Luke

My mother, Shirley Clausen, was a remarkable person and one of my and my brother’s best friends. This funny, spunky, amazing woman lived everyday of her 89 years to their fullest. She always had a kind word to say, a funny joke to tell or meaningful idiom to pass along making people feel valued and loved. A devout Irish Catholic, she never went to sleep without saying her rosary for family and friends or anyone who might be going through a difficult time.

Shirley Jane (Milan) Clausen, passed away in her sleep at 89 years of age on August 6, 2021. She was born at St Vincent Hospital on the 9th of September 1931 in Portland, Oregon to Leo and Amy Milan. She was the second of four children, and the last of her siblings to pass away. The Milan family was a busy, but loving family. Growing up in the throes of the great depression, meant all members of the household needed to help out. It was during those years that my mother learned and honed many of her skills and talents. Known affectionately as “Shirt-tail” by the family, this amazingly talented and wholly optimistic woman always found a way to turn a negative into a positive. Our mother enjoyed spending time outdoors and you could easily find her sitting in repose with one of her cats or water skiing on the Columbia, anything was possible with my mom. One of her favorite places was the Oregon coast a destination she fell in love with when she was a child. She met and married Everett Clausen in the fall of 1957 and together passed on their love of all things outdoors to my brother and I, especially their love of water. Ever the naturalist, my mother continued her appreciation of all things outdoors throughout her life. An avid gardener, she loved canning and never missed a chance to harvest the many fruits & vegetables that grew abundant in the area.

Shirley learned the importance of work at an early age, but always had time for her family and friends. She would always say “When you think you have it bad look around, there’s always someone who is worse off than you are!”. True to her beliefs, Shirley always seems to find a way to make small monthly donations to the many worthwhile charities she supported. Our beloved mother will be greatly missed by her family and friends, along with the countless lives she touched through her kindness & generosity.

Shirley Jane (Milan) Clausen is survived by her two children John Clausen, April (Clausen) Luke and her husband Mike, her four grandchildren William, Kristine, Malissa and Derrick, her eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30am, Friday September 24th at Willamette National Cemetery 11800 SE Mt. Scott Blvd, Happy Valley, Oregon 97086  Click here for directions.

* Flower arrangements should be delivered day of service to

 Willamette National Cemetery no later than 10am


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