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Writing Prose... 

Shirley Wyrick has occasionally tackled writing prose. However, she has had years of reading, carrying out various committee duties and editing her own and others’ writing, which she enjoys. Wyrick earned her way through college with secretarial work and her typing skills are highly proficient. She began in high school using typewriters, advanced to electric typewriters and now uses typing in ever expanding numbers of electronic media.

Side by Side

A1 Uniting c447 and Side by Side c448  1990 charcoal- diptych.jpg


A1 Uniting c447 and Side by Side c448  1990 charcoal- diptych.jpg

Tribute to Darrell...

At one of the art workshops Shirley attended, the class was asked to express, in drawing, the student’s relationship with their closest friend or partner. She feels that two of her charcoal drawings done in response are the best visual expression of her 59-year marriage to Darrell Wyrick. The first drawing is of the two swimming Side by Side, but not in a race. In the second, they face one other with open arms, hands touching, Untitled, allowing room to welcome others and other ideas. Through the years, they supported each other in what they did together and what they did on their own.


The poem Things to do around my partner is another way she remembered their relationship.

Things to do around my partner 

A2 Things to Do Around My Partner.jpg

New Life

Shortly after Darrell’s death in May 2015, her poem New Life, was one way she expressed humorously and poignantly how it was to be on one’s own after so many years of marriage.

A3 edited - New Life Dec 2015.jpg

Spot Light

It was experiencing and then writing Spot light that Shirley more fully understood the spiritual bond between her and her husband.


Just another side of Darrell...

During the same years that Shirley was attending Arts and T’ai Chi workshops, Darrell had annual week-long fishing trips to Northern and Western Canada from 1971 through 2011 with five close friends.  The men called themselves “The Hawkeye Flying Fishing Club.”


And from 1971 through 2013 Darrell was a member of what is called “The Garden Club,” a men’s group that meets before each University of Iowa Football game to cheer on the Hawkeyes. Darrell was valued as a leader in the group and loved to spend time crafting humorous talks (with Shirley’s transcription help). With script in hand, he delivered his talks (always first having the group sing “God Bless America”) at each meeting. But he embellished his talks with his own brand of spontaneous humor that delighted his audience.


A footnote:

The Wyricks’ marriage was an active and harmonious one, aided by Darrell’s generous and caring spirit. It was marred only by Darrell’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease in 1992, when he was only 59 years old. Shirley’s earlier training in occupational therapy turned out to be invaluable because she could maintain a positive attitude, could see that he was supported, yet challenged through continued speaking engagements, medical and therapy appointments, singing lessons and social activities for as long as possible. Yet Darrell’s own optimistic, caring and cooperative spirit was most important in his surviving P.D. for 23 years post-diagnosis.

Darrell D. WYRICK Memoirs... 

At his retirement in 1999, Darrell was asked to write a history of the University of Iowa Foundation for publication at the Foundation’s 50th anniversary in 2006. Joan Williamson, his valued administrative assistant, unfortunately passed away in early 2001 just after she had helped him outline the history.


Darrell’s wife Shirley volunteered and was asked to continue helping him because she also had firsthand experience in how the UI Foundation had evolved from being a “bootstrap” operation to a highly successful institution. Together the Wyricks produced a comprehensive document and it was shared with UIF staff members in electronic form.


In early 2006, the Foundation’s administration decided to publish an abbreviated history for its 50th anniversary that also included the years after Darrell’s retirement from 1999 to 2006 with a new CEO. A minimal amount of the information written by Darrell was included in this book.


In 2005 Shirley was commissioned to produce Free Flow by IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering for the lobby of the Max Stanley Hydraulics. [The sculpture is shown in section 9 of this website.]


Following the installation of Free Flow in 2007 and recognizing the historical importance of what Darrell had accomplished in building the UI Foundation primarily from scratch, the Wyricks continued to research, re-write and then self-publish Darrell’s memoirs. They consulted David McCartney in the UI Libraries’ Special Collections about storing his memoirs. McCartney was quite interested in having Darrell’s memoirs as part of the Libraries’ collection.


Shirley then formatted Darrell’s Memoirs in the computer program Creative Suite. After teaching herself the program, she designed the book’s layout using photos and illustrations, tables and indexes that they had found in storage and compiled during their extended research. Darrell was also able to include many of his favorite humorous stories in the sidebars that are important to understanding his personal success in building the Foundation.


Dick Blazek, an accomplished designer and friend, designed the books’ covers, highlighting The Levitt Center for University Advancement on the front cover. That building’s realization was one of the major highlights of Darrell’s career and for Darrell. The back of the cover features D Forever, a 1998 40’ h stainless steel sculpture by Hu Hungshu, It was dedicated to Darrell and hangs in the Wyrick Rotunda Atrium in the Levitt Center for University Advancement (LCUA).

“ON IOWA! A Memoir by Darrell Dewey Wyrick, 

his firsthand look at the birth and growth of the University of Iowa Foundation

 during its first four decades”

self-published by the Eagle Book Bindery, Cedar Rapids IA 52405 in 3 volumes

© Darrell D. Wyrick 2010     ISBN 978-1-934333-22-8     ISTC A03-2010-00000078-9

Volume 1 383 pages + Photographs & Illustrations

Volume 2 351 pages  + Photographs & Illustrations - plus Tables A1-A82

Volume 3 359 pages  + Photographs & Illustrations plus Tables A83-A147

Total Pages 1,093  + pages for Photographs & Illustrations and Tables

The Darrell D. Wyrick (ON IOWA) Staff Award... 

This award is given annually by the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (the updated name of the University of Iowa Foundation). The award is given to one staff member in honor of the first University of Iowa Foundation president who helped build the foundation from its early beginnings to the end of the 20th century.


The cash award honors one staff member annually who has won one of twelve Iowa Awards given by the UICA during the preceding year and who best demonstrates the qualities that Darrell Wyrick embodied throughout his career:

  • high degree of collaboration

  • spirit of optimism

  • loyalty to the university

  • kindness, caring

  • relationship building

  • good humor

  • extraordinary service and teamwork throughout the organization.

  • demonstration of outstanding teamwork through collaboration

  • internal and external relationship building


The recipient receives a quality printed copy of a song sheet that includes the following two songs: Accentuate the Positive, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Music by Harold Arlen (1944), and On Iowa (Darrell often used motivational songs and song parodies to ‘rally the troops’ at staff meetings and other UIF functions.)


This gives a capsule view of Darrell’s personality and attests to the reasons why his staff continued to remember his personal leadership with fondness for many years after his death.


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