Shirley Rose (Schnell) Olinger, 85, of Ferdinand

Shirley Rose (Schnell) Olinger, 85, of Ferdinand was called home at 4:50 pm, Saturday Nov. 12, 2022. She was born October 29, 1937 in Schnellville, IN to Victor J. And Henrietta C. Persohn Schnell. She graduated from St. Ferdinand High School in 1955. She was united in marriage with James F. Olinger September 28, 1963, at Sacred Heart Church in Schnellville and together they stood side by side for 57 years until he departed in death on Feb. 15, 2020.

Her faith was deep and she put God first in everything she did. She was a devoted member of Christ the King Parish where she volunteered countless hours to many ministries to help and pray for others throughout her life which included committee chairman on the Renew program for four years, rosary committee, greeter at mass, child sitter during Sunday masses, cheery note ministry, meals and visits to the sick and homebound, the funeral ministry and a prayer sponsor for Christ the King religion classes and the Youth Group. She was a member and past officer of the St. Ann’s Sodality and a member of the Daughters of Isabella. She was inducted into the St. Benedict Founders Society and the St. Meinrad Archabbey Abbot Martin Marty Guild in 2022. She was installed as a Little Company of Mary associate in Dec. 2008. Her most humbling recognition was being inducted into the Brute Society, an honorary society for living a model life of Christian stewardship on Nov. 6, 2015. She will always be remembered for living a faith filled life which she shared with all of those around her.

She started work at Memorial Hospital and Healthcare Center in 1955 upon her graduation from high school at just 17 years old. She served many capacities throughout the course of her 56-year career with the hospital. She witnessed much change throughout her time there and loved being able to help people, in whatever capacity was asked of her. She spent most of her career in the Patient Accounts Department, serving as Office Manager from 1968-1972. She was instrumental in the hospital bringing on Medicare and deeply cherished all of her work family and the friendships she made throughout her time there until her retirement in 2011.

A former member and officer of Forest Park Band Boosters, she was a former Girl Scouts leader and girls softball coach. Shirley was a member of the Ferdinand Fireman’s Auxiliary for 20 years and a past officer. She served as a committee chairperson for the 1990 Sesquicentennial Alumni Reunion. She was a founding member of the Forest Park Post Prom Committee in 1990. She was an avid Cincinnati Reds and Indianapolis Colts fan and her enjoyment was watching them play on TV.

Shirley loved her family passionately and was devoted to supporting them in everything they did. She was preceded in death by her parents, Victor and Henrietta Schnell and her husband, James Olinger in 2020. She is survived by her two daughters Marilyn Leonard and Becky Schneider of Ferdinand, one son-in-law Brett Schneider of Ferdinand and her 5 adored Grandchildren Abbey Stevens and husband Brandon, Carly Leonard and fiancé Logan Carnes, Miles Leonard and his wife Victoria and Avari and Addison Schneider. She was blessed to have 3 great grandchildren Andersen, Ellery and Brecken Stevens who were her pride and joy. She is also survived by one brother, Stanley Schnell of Jasper and Betty Snyder of Boonville, her cousin who was more like a sister to her.

Shirley’s entire life was focused on giving. With her passion in mind, in lieu of flowers and memorial gifts, please consider donating to the Sisters of St. Benedict, Christ the King Parish or St. Meinrad Archabbey to continue her commitment to helping others.

A Mass of Christian burial is at 10:00 am on Friday, Nov. 18th in St. Ferdinand Church in Ferdinand with burial to follow at the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursday, Nov. 17, and on Friday, Nov. 18 from 7:00 am-9:30 am at Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand and before service on Friday. Online condolences may be shared at

Her hope was to be remembered as a caring, giving, helpful and kind person. She never spoke an ill word about anyone and greeted everyone she came across with a hug and a smile. She will be forever cherished by her family, her church family and the countless number of lives she touched during her 85 years.