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Shirley Kent



A life remembered and cherished ...

Shirley Louise Bishop Kent was born on a farm south of Woodburn on Dec. 25, 1928, to Dave and Nora Bishop. Shirley passed away on Thursday, July 18, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. She was one of 12 children. Shirley attended Redwing Rural School through eighth grade and graduated from Lacona High School as part of the class of 1948. While in high school, Shirley worked as a waitress and a rural telephone operator to help purchase her clothing and books.

Shirley was united in marriage to Keith Kent on March 13, 1949, at the home of her older sister, Wilda Clark, in Lacona. Keith and Shirley recently celebrated 70 years of marriage. To this union, four children were born, Daniel Eugene, Victoria Louise, Mary Beth and Oscar Kevin. In 1950, Keith and Shirley started a soil conservation business for farmers, which later developed into a successful construction business known as Keith E. Kent Inc. Together they operated this business for 35 years. Shirley maintained the books, managed the office and kept Keith in line over the two-way radio.

Shirley was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Shirley showed her love through her cooking, baking, quilting and gardening. Everyone loved to see Shirley walk into a family gathering with one of her famous pies, tea rings or homemade rolls. Shirley’s talents in these areas will live on in her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who continue to use her recipes today. Each grandchild is blessed to have received a quilt made by Shirley when they were married and each great-grandchild received a quilt upon their birth. All members of the family looked forward to receiving a handwritten birthday card from Shirley every year.

Throughout her 90 years of life, Shirley’s strong presence could be felt throughout the community of Lucas. Shirley served as a Sunday school teacher and board member of Lucas Presbyterian Church, where she and Keith were longtime members. Shirley was a 4-H leader when her children were active in 4-H. Keith and Shirley, along with other community members, helped to establish the Lucas Betterment Committee, which continues to serve the community of Lucas. Shirley served tirelessly in the Lucas Community Center kitchen and volunteered weekly at the John L. Lewis museum. For those who don’t know, Shirley was a bit of a legend at the Lucas Farmers and Miners Bank. Her quick thinking assisted in the apprehension of two criminals, who robbed the bank while Shirley was there for business.

Shirley is preceded in death by her parents and 10 of her siblings.

Left to cherish Shirley’s memories are her husband, Keith; her four children, Daniel (Deb), Victoria (Ron) Boyd, Mary Beth (Gary) Boyd and Kevin (Debbie); her nine grandchildren, Aaron (Jody) Boyd, Danica (Chris) Harris, Ryan Boyd, Derek (Kelli) Kent, Nicholas (Kristen) Boyd, Jody (Tanner) Sandy, Natalie (David) Braun, Abbey (Randy) Metzger and Kayla (Brandon) Bond; 22 great-grandchildren and her sister Jean Chipp.

Shirley’s life will be celebrated as follows: visitation from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 21, at Fielding Funeral Home in Chariton. Funeral service to be 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 22, at Fielding Funeral Home, 227 S. Grand St., in Chariton. Graveside burial service to immediately follow at Rose Hill Cemetery in Lucas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be given to Lucas Presbyterian Church.

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