Shirley "Sunshine" Mollan - Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

Shirley “Sunshine” Mollan

March 6, 1930 - September 9, 2021

Shirley “Sunshine” Mollan

Shirley Ann (née Mitchell) Mollan passed away at home at sunrise on September 9, 2021. Born March 6, 1930 in Nymore, Minnesota to Lilly (Peterson) and Harold Mitchell. She grew up in Southeast Minneapolis and graduated from Marshall High School in 1948. In 1951 she married her high school sweetheart, Vern Mollan. They had three beautiful children and lived in Richfield for 46 years before moving to the cabin on Green Lake. She was a lifelong volunteer extraordinaire with a contagious, sun-shiney spirit. Staffing at The Repeatables (LSS thrift stores). Delivering Meals on Wheels—and hugs! Befriending strangers in rural Mississippi and Mexico on annual mission trips. Bringing disaster relief. Raising money for Relay for Life (a cancer survivor herself). Modeling in 98 vintage fashion shows to fund Lutheran Social Service. Stitching “Dignity Quilts.” Surprising 181 people with homemade “Bunny Cakes.” She was crowned Outstanding Senior Citizen of Chisago County in 2003 and received the Phyllis Lindquist Volunteer Service Award at Parmly Lifepointes. A Certificate of Commendation from the State of Minnesota and The President’s Volunteer Service Award both honored her. Shirley loved her church “families”—Hope Lutheran Church (Minneapolis) and Trinity Lutheran Church (Lindstrom) where she sang in the choir and welcomed visitors with pumpkin bread—and hugs! The sign outside her home said: “Grandma’s and Grandpa’s—Open Daily—Hugs and Kisses.” At seventy, she placed first in her age bracket in the Lindstrom Loppet 5K race (she ran to honor a friend). She was a poet, a matchmaker, spouted Ole and Lena jokes and a lots of “Uffda’s”! With Swedish and Danish immigrant roots, she served up big doses of life’s earthy wisdom from her heart of love. She adored her three children, eight beloved grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. “Reach out and touch someone” was a favorite saying. Shirley “Sunshine” touched all she met with kindness, a twinkling smile and pure LOVE. Celestially shining now—she’s reunited with her beloved, and no doubt giving him a heavenly “Eleven Second Kiss!” She will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched. Survived by children, Lynn (Ben) of Colorado Springs, CO; Larry (Lori) of Menomonie, WI; Lee (Sharon) of Richfield, MN; eight beloved grandchildren—Patrick (Jenny), Meg (Mark), Justin, David, Christina (Tyler), Ellie (Zack), Nathan and Natalie; two great granddaughters—Fiona and Eve; stepsister, Joan Mickelson; and an abundance of family and friends. Preceded in death— by beloved husband of almost seventy years, Vern; sister, Evelyn Torsch and stepsister, Betty Sandahl.

If you are unable to attend in person, please click here for Shirley’s Live Stream Link.

Memorial gifts to Trinity Lutheran Church-Lindstrom, Meals on Wheels or your local food shelf.


  1. Susan Elmblad says:

    My Aunt Shirley, my Godmother was so very dear to me. I will miss her greatly and the abundance of love that she had for me and my family! The Mollan family is in my heart and prayers.

  2. Kelli Scarborough says:

    As a friend of Shirley’s daughter, Lynn, I was blessed to be with Shirley on many occasions. I consistently felt her deep kindness, genuine interest in others and engaged presence. In simple words, I felt happy just to be near her. Lynn’s stories about her mom and dad have filled me with optimism and inspiration. Rest In Peace, Dear Shirley and Verne.

  3. MICHAELLE Flaten says:

    So Sorry for your loss. When I think of Shirley I also think of sunshine. She was so kind to everyone.

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