Shirley Ruth (Niemeyer) Stumpff peacefully took her last earthly breath and her first breath with Jesus, surrounded by family, on September 30, 2022.
Shirley was born on August 4, 1940 in London, Arkansas. She is survived by her two daughters, Deborah Stumpff (Noe Tabares) Albuquerque, NM and Becky Bryant (Lynn) Springfield, MO; her two grandchildren, Danny Bryant (Carolyn) Austin, TX and Ashley Sands (Edward) Springfield, MO; and five great-grandchildren, Brooks and Norah Bryant, and Ronan, Reid and Remi Sands. She is also survived by one sister, Sue Gardner, Springfield, MO and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Ora, her parents, Coyd and Esther (Steuber) Niemeyer; and two siblings, Tommy Niemeyer and Sharron Polzin.
Shirley graduated from Garden City, MO High School. She excelled in women’s basketball which started a lifelong love of little league and high school sports.
She married Ora Stumpff on May 30, 1958 and they made their home in Holden, MO. She joined the 4M’s Club, the Merry Modern Maids of Medford, in 1960 and was a member for over 55 years. This club was initially established for young wives and mothers who enjoyed studying home economic topics from the local extension office. She formed many cherished and lifelong friendships from this club.
Living on the family farm, Shirley developed a love for both flower and vegetable gardening. Her iris and peonies were the envy of the neighborhood. During the summer months, her family enjoyed meals prepared only from ingredients either grown or raised on the farm. Any excess bounty was canned for future use. Her cooking skills were exceptional. Family time and get-togethers were always centered around food. She would spend days preparing for holiday meals and delighted in the joy her cooking brought to her family. Her recipes are still passed down to this day.
Shirley worked for many years in the Holden School District cafeterias. She enjoyed seeing the children each day and ensuring they had a nutritional lunch.
Family was most important to Shirley. She was proud of her daughters, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. She and Ora rarely missed a sports event that the grandchildren participated in, as they both wanted to show their love and support.
Shirley was a deeply-committed Christian and long-time member of the Holden United Methodist Church. She raised her family in the church and faithfully served through teaching Sunday School, cooking for harvest dinners and other fundraising activities.
Shirley was a hard worker and fiercely independent. Once Ora passed, she continued taking care of her home and garden on her own, including mowing her yard. She didn’t want to accept help from anyone.
The last three months of her life were spent at Jacob’s Ladder in Springfield, MO. This faith-based end-of-life home provided exceptional care, comfort and love. Shirley grew to consider her caregivers family. Her family is forever grateful and thankful for the tender loving care she received.
Visitation will be held at Williams Funeral Chapel in Holden, MO on Friday, October 7, 2022 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm with services following at 2:30 p.m. Burial will follow at Gilbert Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations be made in her memory to the Holden United Methodist Church (www.holdenumc.org), the Gilbert Cemetery Association (610 SW 1601 Road, Holden, MO 64040) or Jacob’s Ladder (2343 N. Delaware Ave, Springfield, MO 65803 or www.jacobsladdercare.org).