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Shirley Broach: "She'll be missed"

Shirley Broach
Shirley Broach, a long-term temporary employee who made her mark on several NCAR groups, died in late March at the age of 80. Shirley moved to Boulder in the mid-1980s and started work in the Atmospheric Technology Division shortly thereafter. "Her husband had just died, and she decided to work as a temp to get to know people in Boulder," recalls Maggie Miller (then in ATD, now in Contracts), who hired Shirley. "I think she knew how to type, and that was about it."

Shirley worked with ATD, mostly in the Surface and Sounding Systems Facility and the Field Observing Facility, for several years. "She was a wonderful role model, always eager to do things," recalls administrative assistant Mary Ann Pykkonen. "When computers came to our jobs, I thought Shirley would say, 'I'll retire.' Well, she didn't." On the contrary, Shirley became a whiz at TeX (pronounced 'tek), the complex word-processing program used in several NCAR divisions. "That's an accomplishment for anybody," notes Maggie.

ATD abandoned TeX in the late 1980s, and Shirley migrated to CGD, becoming a regular in the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group before it split off from CGD. "She helped us out for more than five years, especially with our Network Newsletter," says ESIG administrator Vicki Holzhauer. After calling it quits two years ago at age 79, Shirley returned to her original hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. "She turned 80 last May and came out to visit us again last summer," says Vicki. "She was like a great-aunt to everyone in the group--scientists, students, whatever. Her age was never an impediment to her getting along with people. She was incredibly adaptable."

ESIG dedicated its April/May 1996 issue of the Network Newsletter to Shirley. "NCAR really did come to be her family here in Boulder," says Vicki. Adds CGD administrator Holly Howard, "I remember her very fondly--she was energetic, vivacious, and had a very positive attitude. I thought the world of her." •BH

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Prepared by Jacque Marshall, jacque@ucar.edu, 303-497-8616