Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Shirley Tulin


Shirley Tulin

Shirley Ellen (Bergland) Tulin, long time Colfax resident, passed away March 3, 2020, at the Whitman Health & Rehab Center in Colfax. She was 86. A Memorial Service to celebrate her life will be held Friday, March 6th, at 1:00 p.m. in the chapel of Bruning Funeral Home. Pastor Bob Ingalls will officiate.

Shirley was born December 12, 1933 in Seattle, Washington, to Paul and Verna Tanner Bergland. The family moved to Colfax in 1944 and Shirley completed her education there, graduating from Colfax High School in 1952. She attended Washington State College for a year before moving to Seattle where she was re-acquainted with her lifelong friend and neighbor Robert Tulin.

Bob was serving in the U.S. Navy at the time and was stationed at the Bremerton Naval Yard. Bob and Shirley married on February 28, 1954, and had just celebrated 66 wonderful years of marriage last week. They moved back to Colfax and Bob completed his education at WSU and was a science teacher at the Colfax High School for three years before deciding to move their family back to Seattle for medical school.

Shirley kept busy as a homemaker and mother. She was a wonderful cook and family time was very important to her so she really enjoyed raising their three children; Dan, Kristine and Ken. Shirley was a meticulous bookkeeper as well, and when Bob was in medical school it was her expert financial skills that helped the family stay on track. Following a year of internship at Sacramento County Hospital and residency training at Virginia Mason for three years the Tulin's returned to Colfax in 1970 and established themselves into the medical community in a big way.

Dr. Tulin was instrumental in the physician's clinic being turned into a reality next to the new hospital. He helped recruit new and long-term doctors and other specialty doctors to serve an expanding population of patients. Shirley helped in the office whenever she could as a receptionist and bookkeeper. She helped her kids too, as a mother advisor for Rainbow Girls, a den mother for Cub Scouts, a room mother at the school, and an avid supporter of her sons in all of their sporting activities.

The Tulin family spent quality time together hunting, camping and fishing. She loved to go to Alaska and go deep sea fishing for halibut or salmon. She was equally at ease in the outdoors as she was at the theatre or opera. Shirley was one of the first in our area to put on a "wild game" dinner that truly showcased just how artistic of a chef she was.

She served as president of the Hospital Auxiliary, was Past-President of the Athenaeum Club and was very involved from the beginning early stages of the Whitman Hospital Foundation. She and Bob loved to travel and she would accompany him on several of his business trips enjoying whatever that particular part of the world offered. She loved taking in the sights. She also loved to simply go for a picnic or a ride in the car to Wawawai Park of Boyer Park.

Even after being confined to a wheelchair in 1990 and spending the last thirty years of her life in the chair she continued to enjoy new experiences, new people and new places. She never once complained or felt sorry for herself.

Shirley is survived by her husband, Dr. Robert Tulin, at home in Colfax; her children, Kristine Tulin-Dostal, Colfax, and Kenneth Tulin (Phyllis Dunn) of Anchorage, AK .; her grandchildren of whom she was so proud, Jessica (Lee Cook) Campbell, Evie (Conrad) Geier, Michael (Mandy) Dostal; and her great-grandchildren, Adriana, Jacob, Charlotte, Elise, Paisley and Lucas.

She was preceded in death by a son, Dan, by her parents, and by a sister, Audrey, and brother, Leroy. The family suggests memorial gifts in her memory be to the Whitman Hospital Foundation. On-line guest book is at http://www.bruningfuneralhome.com


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