Shirley L. Peringer


January 5, 1924 – February 28, 2021


Image of Shirley Peringer

Shirley Peringer

Shirley Leora Peringer was born January 4, 1924 in Seattle, Washington, the daughter of Arthur and Leora (Brown) Anderson, granddaughter of D.W. Brown and Edith Leora Brown, great-granddaughter of D.C. and Mary Irene (Cook) Brown, all pioneers of Columbia City.

Shirley attended Franklin High School and graduated in 1942. She then attended Whitman College where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, graduating in 1946 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. It was at Whitman that she met the love of her life John Logan Peringer. John had a beautiful singing voice and Shirley was his accompanist. The two were married on June 21, 1947 and had four children. Music was always a big part of their lives together.

Shirley began taking piano lessons at a young age and continued playing for the rest of her long life, teaching piano to hundreds of students for over 60 years. She also played the organ for Sunday services at Columbia Congregational Church. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Washington State Music Teachers Association in 2002. This honor was for “outstanding musicianship, dedication and leadership”.

During the holidays she would have a big party for family and friends leading everyone in a Christmas carol sing-a-long on the piano, encouraging others to play whatever instrument they knew or perhaps wanted to try.

After her husband’s untimely death in 1982, Shirley rediscovered her love of art and began taking classes in watercolor painting. She became an accomplished painter and eventually her outstanding talent allowed her to showcase her paintings in a variety of venues. Her art gave her many years of joy and creative expression. She was a member of the Northwest Watercolor Society and the author and illustrator of several children’s picture books, in particular “Velveeta, the Cabin Mouse”, to the delight of her grandchildren and many others. She was a very talented and inspiring woman.

Shirley loved nothing more than to spend quality time with her family and friends. She was particularly happy when she was near the water having enjoyed many good times on Camano Island, Lake Washington and Hood Canal. She will be fondly and lovingly remembered.

She passed away peacefully on February 28, 2021 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She is survived by her four grown children: Sue Peringer of Redmond, Oregon, Stephen M. Peringer of Duvall, Cynthia C. Schmidt of Woodinville, and Sally J. Uno of Seattle; 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Shirley’s Life will be held on October 15, 2022 at the Lakewood/Seward Park Community Center, 4916 South Angeline St, Seattle, WA 98118, from 1:00pm – 4:00pm with shared remembrances at 2:00.

4 Responses to “Shirley L. Peringer”

  • Kris and Alan Bushley says:

    We are greatly saddened by the loss of Shirley, a great woman, piano teacher, artist, and friend. We first met her as the piano teacher for both of our daughters, Kathryn and Diane, and especially enjoyed attending the informal recitals in her home. She had a gift for making the students feel comfortable and valued. Later, she visited us at our cabin on the Greek island of Amorgos during a watercolor painting trip. She took a photo of our little home and gifted us with a lovely painting of it. It hangs on our dining room wall with several others of her watercolors and will always remind us and our daughters of Shirley. What a full and rich life she led!

  • Debbie Smith says:

    Shirley was my piano teacher for many years during elementary and junior high school. Her daughter Cindy and I met when my family moved to Seattle (we were both in second grade!) and are still good friends today! Growing up with all the Peringers was a wonderful experience. Shirley was patient, gifted and loving. She is missed and remembered fondly by all that knew her. Hugs to everyone in the family. I’m so glad she was a part of my life!

  • Laurie Minsk says:

    Mrs. Peringer was my piano teacher starting when I was about eight years old until I graduated from high school. She was encouraging, engaging, and patient.
    I loved my weekly lessons with her, and she was a huge influence in my life. In preparing for recitals, classes, auditions, and other musical events she helped me set goals and build confidence. She also taught my two children piano for many years, and I returned to study piano with her as an adult. She instilled in me a love of classical music, and I still enjoy playing the piano 55 years after my first piano lesson. What a wonderful influence she was to generations of students. May her memory be a blessing.

  • Linda Knebel says:

    I studied piano with Shirley Peringer from 2nd through
    12th grades (1969-1981). She was always so patient and encouraging. She had great confidence in my abilities — more so than I did. She entered me in the Seattle Young Artists Festival for 4 years in a row. I could never quite deliver what I think she hoped for, but I felt I vindicated her belief in me years later when I was organist at Hope Lutheran Church. I presented numerous recitals and Shirley attended a number of them. I performed much better and have always been so grateful for the solid foundation she gave me in music. As well as the love for a wide genre of styles. As she inscribed in the lovely gift she presented me upon graduation — a music dictionary — ‘You always have the ability to create your own happiness.’ Yes, and I
    have Shirley Peringer to thank for that. You will be missed, but there are so many lives you touched that will carry on your love for life, art and music.

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