Shirlie Kay Bunkowski

Shirlie Kay Bunkowski


Shirlie Kay (Kiser) Bunkowski, 80, of Barnard, Missouri, died Monday, April 29, 2019, at her home after a brief illness. The youngest of seven children, she was born March 7, 1939, at the family home near Barnard to Floyd “Guinea” and Mamie (Armstrong) Kiser. She frequently related fond memories of her childhood on the farm.

After beginning school at Harmon Elementary and then attending Scudder School, Shirlie graduated from Horace Mann High School, Maryville, Missouri, in 1957. She was most proud of receiving a diploma as a registered nurse in 1960 from the Missouri Methodist School of Nursing in St. Joseph, Missouri. She enjoyed keeping in touch with several of her classmates even 50 years later.

Shirlie was also extremely proud of working as a nurse for more than 50 years, including serving as director of nursing at the former Maryville Health Care, Maryville; working as a floor supervisor at St. Francis Hospital, Maryville, and as head of obstetrics at Methodist Hospital, St. Joseph; and working at the Missouri State Hospital in St. Joseph. She also taught certified nurse aide classes at the Maryville Vocational School.

She was above all a caretaker for many. Those included several family members who battled cancer, particularly her husband, Lawrence, who preceded her in death in May 2018. They were married January 6, 1961, in St. Joseph and spent nearly all their 57 years of married life in or near Barnard. Shirlie enjoyed rural life and had a large garden, including a strawberry patch, for many years. She loved to can what she raised and enjoyed cooking for her family. Shirlie was a member of the Barnard Christian Church.

Preceding Shirlie in death were her parents; her brother, Charles Kiser; and four sisters, Anna Espey, Bettie Dougan, Mary Scott, and Rosalee Watson. She was also preceded by four brothers-in-law Kenneth Laughlin, Byrl Dougan, Ralph Watson, and Charles Espey; a sister-in-law, Darlene Kiser, and two nephews, Phil Dougan and Dennis Laughlin.

Among her survivors is her sister Macil Laughlin, Guilford, Missouri. Additional survivors include daughters Tori and Scottie Grable, De Kalb, Missouri; Tara and Edward Seipel, Maryville; Tish Furst and Mike Murphy, Barnard; and Denyse and Kyle Scott, Osceola, Iowa. Surviving grandchildren, whom she deeply loved, are Clint and Teela Waugh, Decatur, Iowa; Brad and Amy Wolf, Barnard; Melanie and Scott Cowger, De Kalb; Becky and Pat Swinford, Barnard; Whitney Sybert and Taylor Crockett, De Kalb; Clay Waugh, Leon, Iowa; Chris Redmond and Katrina Burden, Clearmont, Missouri; Brooke Wolf and Ethan Schmitz, Parnell, Missouri; Jessi Redmond, Clarinda, Iowa; Scott Grable Jr. and Lynden Matthews, De Kalb; and Miranda Waugh and Ethan McGill, Ames, Iowa. Shirlie also received great joy from her 16 great-grandchildren:  Mili, Beau, and Boon Waugh; Brayton Furr; Lena Cowger; Kaden Skidmore; Layla, Micah, Hadley, and Zoey Wolf; Madelyn, Mackenzie, Maggie, Maverick, and Mamie Swinford; and Colt Redmond. She also counted among those she loved her step grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as her nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Friday, May 3, at Bram Funeral Home, Maryville, Missouri, with a service at 7 p.m. Following the service, Shirlie will be cremated, and private family burial of cremains in the Barnard Cemetery will be held at a later time. Shirlie requested no flowers; the family encourages donations in Shirlie’s name to the Salvation Army.