Shirley Ann (Smith) James, of New Franklin, passed away Thursday afternoon, December 30, 2021, at Ashley Manor Care Center in Boonville. She was born February 26, 1935, in Boonville, Missouri, the daughter of the late Warren C. Smith and Mildred A. McQuitty-Smothers.
Shirley had remarkably busy and engaged life. She was a devoted member of the New Franklin Christian Church, where she was married and later played the organ on Sundays for years. She was very active in the community. For twelve years she proudly served on the New Franklin City Council. She was very active with the New Franklin Senior Center. She was on the founding committee of the Santa Fe Trail Days annual celebration. She was a member of the South Howard County Historical Society. One of her greatest pleasures was learning, and writing about, our local history. She wrote a monthly newsletter for many years about the town and what was happening at that time and in years gone by. She also wrote short stories and beautiful poetry. She was very instrumental and extremely proud to be involved with the fundraising and development of the Veteran’s Memorial located at the New Franklin City Park. She was voted New Franklin Citizen of the Year in 2004 and was the Grand Marshall at the Santa Fe Trail Days parade.
Shirley enjoyed operating her own tea room in downtown New Franklin (TussieMussies) and offering rooms to guests at their bed and breakfast at the family home she grew up in (Trails Inn B&B). She was very involved with the “kitchen magic” at the Katy Roundhouse Restaurant, as many of her recipes were enjoyed by thousands over the years.
Another one of her many passions was music. She loved playing the piano/keyboard/organ, listening to everything from big band to ragtime to Elvis and always encouraged others to express themselves musically. Her love of listening to her daughters’ singing was genuine and showed in her eyes each time.
Shirley was happily married to her high school sweetheart, Jerry James, for 57 years. Shirley was preceded in death by husband, parents and brother, Warren (Bud) Smith.
She is survived by her daughters Jennifer Ellen (Jim) Friedrich, Julie Ann (Pete) Christus, Jill Marie (David) Oser and son, John Glen (Kim) James; grandchildren, Michelle (Matthew Britt) Friedrich Kaiser, Laura (Mike) Robinson, Mary (Michael) Goetz, Michael Oswald, Rebecca (Andrew) Christus, Lucas (Samantha) Oswald, Tanner (Ashley) Dodson; 14 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. Other survivors include her niece, Robin (Johnny) Rooney; nephew, Tim (Jenni) Smith and many beloved cousins and relatives; bonus daughter/caregiver Vickie Crowley and lifelong best friend Bonnie Whitehurse.
The family of Shirley James expresses their sincere appreciation to the relatives, friends and neighbors for the many comforting messages of sympathy, prayers, food and all other acts of kindness extended during the loss of their loved one. A special thank is extended to the wonderful people at Ashley Manor and Hartman Village.
Visitation for Shirley will be at Markland-Yager Funeral Home, New Franklin, on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 from 10:00-11:00 am. Service will be at 11:00 with Rev. Roger McMurry and Pastor Nick Larson officiating. Burial will follow at Mr. Pleasant Cemetery in New Franklin with dinner served at the South Howard County Historical Society thereafter.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the South Howard County Historical Society.
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