Shirley Louise Sallee, 88, passed away February 2, 2013. Born September 15, 1924 in Iola, Kansas to Lucille and Art Sneller, Shirley spent most of her childhood in Arkansas City, Kansas. She also lived in Sedan, Kansas and Ft. Smith, Arkansas. At the time of her death, Shirley was a resident of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
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Shirley grew up as one of four children of a school teacher and homemaker. Her life journey was set when she moved to Sedan, Kansas in 1946 to begin teaching school. On the first day of school, she stepped onto the school bus and cheerily greeted the bus driver, a war veteran freshly returned from the European theater. They married the next summer and shared over sixty-five years of friendship and partnership. Lyle preceded her in death in September, 2012.
The greatest legacy Shirley left her children was her love for their father and her family. Fondly remembered as an affectionate grandmother and great-grandmother, she spared no one the loving pats that sometimes turned into steady drumbeats.
Her teaching career lasted only a few years, until she started her family, but the rest of her life was focused on nurturing and educating. A woman of remarkable intellect and quick wit, Shirley began a brand new career in banking after the Sallee nest was empty. Mention made of her ten-year-career at City National Bank in Ft. Smith, Arkansas always brought a warm smile to her face, even after other memories had faded.
In addition to her focus on family, Shirley found great joy in fresh encounters or making a new friend. A great conversationalist, she was welcomed to many a gathering for her ability to make other guests feel comfortable and special. At the time of her death she was a member of Oak Park United Methodist Church and the Pilot Club of Bartlesville. She and Lyle spent many winters as snowbirds in Mesa, Arizona and also used their RV as a home while serving Habitat for Humanity.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Lyle, an infant daughter, Katherine, and all of her siblings. She is survived by daughter Kay of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; son David and wife Mary of Liberty, Missouri; grandson Andrew and wife Emily of Platte City, Missouri; grandson Patrick of Kansas City, Missouri; five great-grandchildren: Andrew's children Graham, Benjamin and Anna Marie, Patrick's children Avery and Makenna Kay; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Tuesday, February 5th, 6:00 – 7:30 pm at Arnold Moore & Neekamp Funeral Home in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. A celebration of Shirley's life will be held Wednesday, February 6th, 11:00 am at Oak Park United Methodist Church in Bartlesville. Burial will be Thursday, February 7th, 3:30 pm at Mount Moriah Terrace Park in Kansas City, Missouri. Memorial contributions may be made to Oak Park United Methodist Church in Bartlesville or Elder Care of Bartlesville.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Arnold Moore & Neekamp Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at www.honoringmemories.com.
Published in Examiner-Enterprise from Feb. 4 to Mar. 4, 2013