MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT L. SHIRKEY
1924 - 2014
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MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT L. SHIRKEY Major General Robert L. Shirkey, age 89, of KCMO. passed away at Research Hospice February 14, 2014. Visitation will be from 4:00–8:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, 2014 (Rosary at 7:30 p.m.). Funeral mass at 12:00 noon on Thursday, February 20, 2014. Both visitation and funeral mass will be held at Redemptorist Church, 3333 Broadway, KCMO. Entombment to follow at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery Mausoleum at 8300 W. 83rd St., Lenexa, KS . In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts to Redemptorist Church. Robert was born on April 26, 1924 in Vermillion, Kansas and grew up in Holton, Kansas. He is the son of Clarence Hampton Shirkey and Minnie Schroeder Shirkey. After significant Army service in the Pacific war, Robert earned his B.A. degree and then his law degree from what was then Kansas City University School of Law. On admission to the bar in 1950 he joined the law firm of Rogers, Field & Gentry. After his departure from Rogers, Field & Gentry he started his own practice winning substantial victories for his clients and precipitating major changes in products liability law, tobacco litigation and other areas of personal injury law. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Court of Military Appeals and U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri. At the age of 15, Robert enlisted in the 137th Infantry, Kansas National Guard. He graduated from Infantry OCS and was commissioned a second lieutenant at the age of 18, holding the distinction of being the youngest man to graduate from OCS during World War II. After volunteering to serve in the Alamo Scouts (an early iteration of the Special Forces) he became one of only 21 officers to lead an Alamo Scout team on combat missions during World War II. Shirkey led his team on special missions on the island of Luzon, Philippines, through the summer of 1945. On a mission of particular importance to Gen. Krueger and Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then Lt. Shirkey and his team moved 65 miles behind the Japanese lines to confirm that Gen. Yamashita was in direct command of Japanese forces on the island. Shirkey led six special- operations combat missions, including back-to-back deep-penetration missions around Bontoc and Atok, Luzon, that resulted in one of the longest periods spent behind Japanese lines of any Alamo Scout team. After his first release from active duty, he completed his civilian education in Kansas City, but his civilian life was interrupted when he was recalled to active duty to command an Infantry rifle company on the front lines in Korea. Following his tour in Korea, Shirkey remained active in the Army Reserve. Among other assignments, he served as an instructor for the Infantry School, the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Ft. McNair. He was Deputy CG of the U.S. Army Military Personnel Center at St. Louis and later Commanding General, 89th U.S. Army Reserve Command (89th ARCOM). Retiring in 1982, he was the last general officer on active duty who had fought against the Japanese. Among other awards, Major General Shirkey was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with V-Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, numerous campaign medals, unit citations and in recognition of his Alamo Scouts service, he was authorized the Special Forces Tab. Major General Shirkey took every opportunity to, in his words "tell what those men did" and to preserve their incredible acts of courage and sacrifice. He has also shared his experience with the Command Group, Combined Arms Center and with Special Operations students at the Command and General Staff College. In 2010 he donated military papers to the Combined Arms Research Library at Fort Leavenworth, KS. Among other organizations Major General Shirkey held membership in the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Special Forces Assn., Alamo Scouts, Reserve Officers Assn., Assn. of the Army of the United States, National Historical Society, American Royal Assn., Liberty Memorial Assn. and was a perpetual member of the Military Order of the World Wars, Greater Kansas City Chapter. He is survived by his wife Carol, and sons Niles Shirkey and Allen Crawford. Grandchildren, Amanda Shirkey, Christopher Crawford, Rene Murry and 6 great grandchildren. Siblings, Clarence Shirkey, Harold Shirkey, Alan Shirkey, Mona Snowden and Dorothy Dinwiddie. Preceding him in death were his son, Stacy Shirkey, his parents Clarence and Minnie Shirkey, brother Raymond Shirkey, and sisters Irene Sweeton and Wilma Taylor. A special "Thank You" to Vitas Hospice for all their services and support. An old soldier never dies he just fades away.



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Published in Kansas City Star on Feb. 18, 2014.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
FEB
19
Visitation
04:00 - 08:00 PM
FEB
19
FEB
20
Funeral Mass
12:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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43 entries
November 17, 2016
I miss you so so very much. It is NOT any easier living without you. I need you and like to think you are here with me. I catch myself calling your cell phone that Grandma uses now so i can hear your voice on the voicemail. I love you and miss you. When you left us I lost my grandpapa, my best friend, my attorney AND my hero. You were everything to me. I love you! "Dear heart"
Rene Crawford-Murry
November 17, 2016
Rene Crawford
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Rene Crawford
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Reading a book
Rene Crawford
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Great Grandpa and jayden
Rene Crawford
November 17, 2016
Robert Shirkey, Rene Crawford (dear heart) and Jayden
Rene Crawford
October 12, 2015
MD Alam with General Shirkey on February 3, 2010
MD ALAM
December 16, 2014
I spoke with Mrs. Shirkey today and I was helping her with an order that she had placed with the aafes exchange,and she spoke so highly of Mr.Shirkey to where I had to find him online (with her permission of course)and im very happy that i did. In my life I inspire to meet people like Mr. Shirkey. He seemed like he was a kind man. May your soul rest in peace. Mrs. Carol you're a winner
February 20, 2014
Bob lived a wonderfully successful life which included heroic military leadership in WW II and Korea, outstanding in the practice of Law, and great family man. I treasure his friendship. Neal Creighton (MG-USA-Ret)
Neal Creighton
February 20, 2014
Known lovingly as "The General" to all at the Palace Building in downtown Kansas City, General Shirkey was well loved for his sense of humor and selfless service to the country he loved. No more hills to climb, General. God bless and keep your family. I'm praying for you, Carol.
Loraine Ray
February 20, 2014
My husband, Col. Robert Howard-(dec. 10-10-12), served as one of Bob Shirkey's officers. He and Carol were very thoughtful to me and my family.
Gwen Howard
February 19, 2014
My condolences to General Shirkey's family. My father, Colonel Robert Howard worked for General Shirkey for many years. I recall two things about him. He gave me his Gold Ring seats at Arrowhead Stadium for my tenth birthday. And when taking a tour of the Boeing facility he was extremely pleased to be the first to sign my new arm cast.
God Bless.
Philip Howard
Philip Howard
February 19, 2014
This "old soldier" will live on in the hearts of many who admired him. God keep you in his care, General. Carmella Kovach
Carmella Kovach
February 19, 2014
What are remarkable life, what a remarkable man. Prayers and condolences to his wife and son. Many years ago, I was his daughter-in-law, Linda.
Linda Gordon
February 18, 2014
The General was a true giant among America's greatest generation and a dear friend to many. May God bless Carol, Niles and the rest of his family. Kevin Regan, Cathy Francis and family.
Kevin Regan
February 18, 2014
It was a privilege to share a law office with General Shirkey. He went out of his way to administer the oath to my older son as he entered the Army, and when my Dad died, Bob unexpectedly presented my Mother and my family with a display of the unit and his individual insignias, medals and ribbons. He told us stories of Dad's Division landing at Omaha Beach with such great detail it was captivating as though he was there. He was an impeccable spirit, one of a kind, and the world is better because of his devotion and sacrifices. RIP.
John B. Boyd
February 18, 2014
I am grateful for the life of Major General Shirkey. Thanks to his service and to the service of others in our armed forces, my family and I have been able to lead our lives in freedom and peace.
Bob
February 18, 2014
Bob made a difference in the lives of many. The world has lost a champion with Bob's passing. Bob's courage was displayed openly and Bob inspired those who knew him.
Bud Lager
February 18, 2014
Thank you for being a good friend and mentor. I will miss you so much.
-Joni Cole
February 18, 2014
Condolences to the Shirkey Family. We were all honored and blessed by his service. Harlan Stamper
February 18, 2014
It takes guts to win wars. Shirkey had them in spades.
Vincent E. Baker
February 18, 2014
General, thank you for being such a wonderful friend and boss and for loving me like family! I will forever cherish in my heart all of our times together and all of the stories that you shared with me along the way. I will always remember how you always wanted to help everyone out and never judged or looked down on anyone that crossed your path. You were a true hero and you will never be forgotten. Carol and family please know that we are always here if you need anything at all. Love, Kristin, Greg & AJ
Kristin Graf
February 18, 2014
In Heaven
February 18, 2014
Condolences to the family of Bob Shirkey, a great soldier, a great lawyer, and a great person.
James Wyrsch
February 18, 2014
It was my true honor to know MG Shirkey, as he is, in my opinion, a true American hero...between his courageous service in two wars and his honorable service to the bar of Jackson County and the courts of Missouri, he was a man to be admired. May he rest in peace.
Philip Glasser
February 18, 2014
Soldier on!
david schmidt
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