Shirley Mae Howard, of Kansas City, Kansas transitioned into eternal life on August 30th, 2021.
Born April 18, 1934, in Kansas City, Kansas to, Everett Stephen Webster of Omaha, Nebraska and Lorene Webster of Toilette, Arkansas. Shirley was the only child born to this union. At an early age, she joined St Peters CME Church and later gave her life to Christ and became a member of Trinity AME Church, Kansas City, Kansas, to which she remained a faithful member until her passing.
Shirley was educated in the Kansas City, Kansas School System attending Dunbar Elementary, Northeast Junior High, and Sumner High School, graduating with Honors in 1952. She studied Nursing at the Kansas City Jr. College and KU Med Ctr.
In August of 1955, Shirley welcomed her only Daughter, Shelley Renee Webster. In 1960 she met and married Fletcher Sampson Howard. They became the proud parents of twin boys, Richard Derrick and Rodney Eric Howard. Shirley, being an only child enjoyed marrying into the large family of 12 children (in-laws). This was a family joy for Shirley and the raising of her three children.
Shirley’s professional career began with the State of Kansas in 1966 at the KU Med Ctr Emergency Room where she worked for 5 years as the ER Head Clerk; then promoted to the nursing floor (3G) as the Head Ward Clerk. Shirley moved up through the ranks of the organization, rewarded for her excellent work ethics and dedication to the profession. In 1973, Shirley became the only Black Personnel Director in the SRS department for the State of Kansas at Rainbow Mental Health Facility. Shirley managed the entire human Resources organization for the hospital. She was well respected for her managerial skills and ability to get the job done. She gained the love and respect of all the hospital personnel working there. Shirley retired from the State of Kansas in May of 1994.
After retirement, Shirley landed a position as the Administrative Assistant at The Church of the Brethren. Shirley’s work ethic shined bright in this role and was that was evident by her being employed there for 20 years. She was loved and admired by Pastor Sonya Griffin and their entire church family.
In her free time, Shirley enjoyed three passions: Singing, Traveling and the Sumner High School Alumni Association.
Shirley sang Contralto in her Trinity church gospel choir for years. She was a dedicated member and could be counted on for "knowing her part". In the 70's Shirley sang with two local community groups: The Leviticus Singers and The McClellan-Akers Singers. Shirley made a recording of her singing the Lord's Prayer. She had a beautiful voice. Shirley was a member of The Jolliettes Travel Club, a group that traveled by bus all over the US. She enjoyed traveling with her friends and family, including Hawaii and numerous cruises abroad. It didn't matter if she was traveling by bus, boat, plane or automobile, Shirley loved her travel experiences.
Shirley dedicated a good bit of her retirement life to serving as the Financial Secretary for the Sumner High Alumni Association. She served faithfully for 15 years and spent time collecting, counting, and managing the finances of the Alumni. She assisted with organizing and executing Alumni events for as many years. She loved her Dear Ole Sumner High and worked tirelessly to keep their story and legacy relevant.
Shirley was the family "Queen-Bee". When the family gathered for holidays, birthdays, vacations, they all “buzzed around her”. Shirley was very proud of her family. She instilled in them the value of work ethics, a respect for money (you always had to pay her back) unconditional love and self-respect. She was an excellent Mother and doted on her grandchildren and great grands.
Her children took great care of her as she aged; Richard was her primary caregiver, Rodney was her rock, Shelley was the dutiful daughter, her home away from home; and Debbie Davis was her friend-girl, like a 2nd Daughter.
In her quiet moments, Shirley enjoyed crossword puzzles, scrolling Facebook, watching old movies, reading magazines and novels. If in those times one would attempt conversation with her, she would politely give you a leave me alone look.
Shirley's passing will leave a huge family void, but her memories will always be cherished for years to come and left to Shelley R. Webster, daughter of Atlanta, Georgia; Richard Howard & Rodney Howard sons both of Kansas City, Kansas; four grandchildren, Danielle Howard of Arizona; Tia Reid (Charles) of Arizona; Rodney Jr. of Kansas City, Kansas; Sydnei (DJ) of North Carolina; 11 great grandchildren; extended family; and friends who long cherish the time they spent with Shirley.
…The work I’ve done, it seems so small.
Sometimes it seems like nothing at all.
But, when I stand before my God,
I want to hear Him say “Well Done”!
May the work I’ve Done Speak for me!
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley Mae (Webster) Howard, please visit our floral store.