Funeral service for Shirley Kilmer will be Friday, December 4, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at the Southern Baptist Church in Kiowa. Burial will follow at Belle Plaine Cemetery at Belle Plaine, Kansas at 2:00 p.m. Viewing will be Thursday, December 3, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Arrangements are by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Kiowa. www.lanmanmemorials.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.
On November 29, 2020 Shirley left this earth to be with her Lord and Savior at the age of 87 years and 11 months old. Shirley Ann Myers was born on December 29, 1932 to William and Rena Mae Myers. She was born in the southwest corner room of the Old Masonic Hospital in Cherokee, Oklahoma. She grew up on the family farm southeast of Kiowa in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma. She would talk about not having electricity until the fifth grade, feeding the animals, farming and helping her mother cook. From the first through sixth grades, she attended the Friendship Elementary School in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma. When she attended Jr. High in Kiowa, she and four other girls developed a close friendship and called themselves the “5 musketeers”. After she graduated from the Kiowa High School in 1950, she attended Wichita State University from 1950-1954. When she first went to WSU she stayed with cousins and did not have a vehicle so she walked a lot to school. She was very lonely and her mother wrote her a letter every day. Education was a very important part of her life. She graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and from there she attended Northwestern University in Illinois and received her Master of Arts degree. Throughout the years she completed more college courses at Emporia State University, Phillips University and Pratt Community College for Distributive Education, Office Education, Accounting and Computer Education where she earned many honors and awards.
After college while she was still in Wichita she met the love of her life, Robert Kilmer. They married on August 1, 1959. She was able to take a break from teaching and a year later they started their family and had their first daughter, Robin Ann Kilmer. In 1962 they had their son, Robert William Kilmer II. While living in Wichita they partnered a business on the side, selling campers and camping supplies. Bob and Shirley enjoyed camping and took many trips with their children throughout the years. In 1965 they had their second daughter, Susan Lea Kilmer and she returned to teaching. While teaching at Wellington High School, she was very proud to take two students to National competitions in Distributive Education. She was always very proud of all her students and their accomplishments. On July 31, 1976 the love of her life had a heart attack and passed away. From that day on, she devoted her whole life to raising her children. After Robin and Bill went to college, she and Susan moved to Kiowa, Kansas to take care of her elderly parents. She spent many years attending to her parent’s needs and her mother-in-law, Mabel Storms. While living in Kiowa, she taught in Attica, Kansas for many years and she gained many new friends while teaching there. For many years she had an interest in farming. She was able to purchase land and from there she acquired a bigger love for farming. In 1995 she retired from teaching and was ready to travel and spend more time with her kids, grandkids and pets.
She belonged to many organizations including the Kiowa Library, Kiowa Senior Center, Kiowa Delphi, Order of the Eastern Star and many more. During her retirement she took two big trips, one to London with Bill and one to the Northeast US and Canada. She loved attending her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids events, no matter what they were involved in. The kids, grandkids and great-grandkids spent many hours at her house making memories and she was always so happy to see them. Her biggest achievement was her family and she loved them dearly. She studied the bible and knew her Lord and Savior. She wanted people to know Jesus and tried to share his word. The family has comfort in knowing that she is in Heaven with Jesus and her family that went before her.
She is preceded in death by her parents, William and Rena Myers; brother, Billy Myers; husband, Robert William Kilmer and mother-in-law, Mabel J Storms.
She leaves behind her three children, Robin Kilmer of Kiowa, Kansas, Robert Kilmer II (Jennifer) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Susan Swonger (Doug) of Kiowa Kansas; three grandchildren, Michael Swonger (Alison) of Fairview, Oklahoma, Matthew Swonger (Jessica) of Kiowa, Kansas and Juliette Kilmer of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; two step-grandchildren, Stephanie Day and Dakota Hudson; six great-grandchildren, Austin Swonger, BaiLea Swonger, Braxton Swonger, Tucker Swonger, Dawson Swonger and Lynnex Swonger.
Memorials may be made to Kansas Humane Society, Kiowa Senior Center or Kiowa Public Library through the funeral home.
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