Shirley "Sheryl" Ann Wiens
October 7, 1940 – November 20, 2019
Shirley Ann was born October 7, 1940, to Fred and Anna Friesen in Reedley, California. She and her younger sister Laura and brother Howard enjoyed growing up together with their dog Fido on their chicken farm. Sheryl remembered having family time every week playing together and ending with family devotions. She accepted Jesus as Savior at 5 years old after reading Bible stories with her Mom. The next day at school she shared her faith decision with one of her friends and asked if she would like to make a decision also. Her friend prayed and accepted Jesus and Sheryl’s life of sharing God’s love with others began. Her family attended Krimmer Mennonite Brethren Church (Zion Church) each Sunday morning and evening, where her Dad was Head Usher and Mom taught Sunday School and sang in a ladies’ trio. Shirley’s Mom would make a big Sunday roast and often invited church visitors for dinner. During her youth, she spent summers packing peaches at a packing shed, picking grapes at relatives’ vineyards and working hard gathering and grading eggs on the family’s poultry ranch, which grew to 10,000 laying hens. Sheryl’s Dad would deliver the eggs in the back of his El Camino. Sheryl worked hard to complete her school assignments and became the 8th Grade Valedictorian at GrandView Elementary. At 12, she was baptized with others at a family’s private swimming pool. She graduated from Immanuel Academy H.S. in 1958 in Reedley, where she sang in the choir and with a trio, was a cheerleader and played on the basketball team. Sheryl attended Reedley Jr. College for two years and then transferred to Biola in La Mirada, CA. She lived in downtown Los Angeles, riding a bus to class every day and attended Youth for Christ. She transferred to Fresno State University where she completed her 4th year of college and graduated. She earned her Teacher’s credential and shared an apartment with two Christian girlfriends while working at JC Penney’s to pay for expenses. Sheryl married Lee Suderman, her husband for 30 years, on August 10, 1962.. Their first home was in Freeman, SD, and they then moved to Hillsboro, KS, where she taught for 4 years and became a mother! Verlyn Lee, born on April 23, 1966, was named for “a cute, very bright, all-around ideal 1st grade student” in her class. Vonette Kay was born March 2, 1968, and named after Vonette Bright, one of the founders of Campus Crusade for Christ where Lee and Shirley were on staff together in their early years. Verlyn and Vonette accepted Jesus as their Savior as young children and have been continually active in church activities and ministries following God’s leading in their lives. During her time in Hillsboro, she led a Bible study in her home for students from Tabor College, who would come over in their bathrobes before classes. Sheryl and her family lived in Mundelein, IL, Cambridge, MN, and Mt. Prospect, IL, where she enjoyed helping with and attending the many activities of Verlyn and Vonette while they were in school. Sheryl was an elementary teacher and Lee was a pastor during that time. She produced school musical productions, taught piano lessons and hosted countless visitors and friends at their home. She also held many responsibilities in their churches as Sunday School teacher, Women’s ministry and Bible study leader, prayer group leader and holiday pageant director. While in Minnesota and Illinoiis, she was privileged to work with author/speaker Evelyn Christenson and wrote an article published in a Christian book on Parenting. Another ministry highlight was attending the World Congress of Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland. After Lee left the pastorate, they attended Arlington Heights Evangelical Free Church and then Willow Creek Community Church for many years, where she and Lee started a ministry for people over 55. Sheryl moved to Orange County, CA, in 1991 and began attending Crystal Cathedral, the Garden Grove church led by Robert Schuller. Sheryl served as a tour guide at Crystal Cathedral, sharing the church’s amazing story with people from around the world. She was also actively involved with the Balboa Ski Club and Ballroom Dancing lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio where she made many friends. In 2001, Sheryl moved into Landmark Senior Community in Huntington Beach, and on April 29, 2005 she married Richard Wiens. Richard has been her husband these last 15 years and she describes him as the love of her life. Sheryl and Richard traveled the country and the world together including China, Europe, the Caribbean and the Holy Land, a lifelong dream of hers. They danced the night away at countless events, golfed together, biked around Huntington Beach, took daily walks hand in hand, and worshipped as a couple at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Sheryl’s proudest career moments were as a teacher for over 30 years. She taught in Freeman, SD, Hillsboro, KS, Mount Prospect, IL, and Garden Grove, CA. After moving to California, she earned her special education credential from Cal State Fullerton and taught junior high students for 10 more years. We know she was also grateful for the many opportunities to serve in ministry, leading Bible studies, speaking at events, even starting a prayer group in Landmark. But her biggest impact was simply caring for others wherever she went. Verlyn lives in Palatine, IL with his wife Julie and their three children, Elizabeth (Libby), Aaron and Samantha, and Vonette lives in Lake Forest, CA with her husband Darryl. They have two college-age children, Chanae and Chad. Sheryl loved her children and grandchildren so deeply, and she showed that love to them every chance she got.
She was the best mom ever... a mother who modeled unconditional love, courage, faithfulness, positivity, joy, creativity, enthusiasm, a servant heart and so much more. She was always present, constantly encouraged us and believed we could do or be anything in life.
“Nanny” or “Grammy” was a fun and energetic grandmother who taught the kids about her love for Jesus, got down and played with them in total silliness, was always up for trying any activity, planned fun surprises for them and so much more.
Sheryl lived a life full of love, joy, family, friends, prayer, faithful service, music, adventure, fun, laughter, hugs and God’s greatest blessings.
She brightened her world for 79 years and is now brightening Heaven. Her family misses her dearly but is so very proud of her and her life.
- Richard Wiens, Husband
- Verlyn Suderman (Julie), Son
- Vonette Carter (Darryl), Daughter
- Laurea Fraley, Sister
- Howard Friesen, Brother
- Chanae Carter, Granddaughter
- Chad Carter, Grandson
- Libby Suderman, Granddaughter
- Aaron Suderman, Grandson
- Samantha Suderman, Granddaughter
- Viewing Friday, November 29, 2019
- Family Graveside Service Friday, November 29, 2019
- Memorial Service Saturday, November 30, 2019
Shirley "Sheryl" Ann Wiens
Jim & Ilene Kutzle
November 27, 2019
My husband & i got to know Sheryl & her husband thru attending all the dances here at Landmark, it was always a joy to see her get up & dance she was having the best time dancing, laughing & such a big smile on her face. We will miss not seeing her walk around the community holding hands with her husband & she would always make a point to say hello to us as we passed them. She is spreading joy in heaven & looking down upon us.
Jim & Ilene Kutzle
November 25, 2019
We moved to Landmark in 2007 and shortly after met Sheryl through the golf club.
Golf was not her strong suit, but smiling, laughing and hugs were her strong suit (however, she could putt very well).
We will miss her around our community, but she will brighten her new community in heaven.
David and Suzanne Dawes