Shirley Kobar was born in Chicago, Illinois and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1974. She moved with her husband to Colorado in 1975. She spent most of her nursing career at the University of Colorado Hospital, and has since retired. She has two sons and three grandchildren.

She is a member of the Columbine Poets for a number of years and the Green Fuse community in Loveland. She has written poems concerning patients that have been published in AJN, Fetishes, and the anthology Between the Heartbeats.