Farming Rural 07

Shirley A. Dempsey

October 3, 1942 ~ March 1, 2022 (age 79)


Shirley A. Dempsey (Nee Kessler) was born October 3, 1942 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, daughter to the late Irwin and Dorothy (Katzung) Kessler. She was attending Waukesha South High School when she met and married her husband Glenn Dempsey. They were married 49 years before his passing in 2008.

In her early years, Shirley was very involved in 4-H and showed ponies, sheep, and Saddlebreds. Horses were a love that both Shirley and Glenn shared and they bought a small hobby farm in Dousman, Wisconsin, where they raised their three children. Shirley was the driving force behind introducing her children to 4-H and got them involved raising and showing Registered Polled Herefords. Shirley and Glenn also became Beef Project Leaders and were instrumental in fundraising efforts to build the beef barn at the Waukesha County Fair Grounds.

They moved to Fort Atkinson in 1980 and together started Jefferson Transport over their dining room table until they could move to their newly built facility in 1985 on Industrial Drive in Jefferson. Shirley continued to run the refrigerated trucking company after Glenn’s passing until 2010, when it was sold to Peter’s Brothers Trucking.

From 2005 until 2020, Shirley was a member of the Jefferson Rotary Club, where she also served on the Board of Directors. In 2008, Shirley was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship Award and later that same year given the Service Above Self Award. Shirley took over the organizing responsibilities for the Breakfast with Santa event in Jefferson that benefitted the Jefferson County Head Start for Children organization. She and Glenn were also active supporters of Cab Rides for the Elderly of Jefferson County, providing free cab rides for the elderly. Shirley could always be found in the kitchen, at the egg station, a position she took extreme pride in.

Shirley is survived by: her three children Denise Dempsey of Sussex, Lori (Randy) Erdmann of Fort Atkinson, and Guy Dempsey of Fort Atkinson; four grandchildren Jenifer (Travis) Deisinger, Audra Erdmann, Brandy Dempsey and Bailey Dempsey; and eight great-grandchildren Abigail, Penelope, Aliana, Grace, Sophia, Maleigh, Myia, and Mason.

It was Shirley’s wish to donate her body to the U.W. Medical College and that no service will be held. The family urges anyone wanting to pay respects to Shirley to please donate in her name to Rainbow Hospice of Johnson Creek or to the Jefferson Humane Society.

Deepest thanks to the nursing staff and director team at Rainbow Hospice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley A. Dempsey, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Shirley A. Dempsey
© 2022 Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility