Shirley Arlene (Helmold) McMillin

May 18, 1936May 11, 2019

Shirley Arlene (Helmold) McMillin, a.k.a. Mrs. Brown to her many elementary students, died at age 82 on May 11, 2019 at North Kansas City Hospital from complications due to her long-standing Parkinson’s.

Shirley was born in Bennett, IA in May of 1936 to Walter and Leona Helmold and has been a resident of Gladstone, MO since 1967. Shirley grew up on a farm in Iowa with her parents and sister Joanne. She went to high school in Lowden, IA where she played basketball and even made it to state championship finals. She was married to Robert McMillin from 1998 to present. They were wed after she retired from teaching and were able to enjoy many bus tours and cruises together. They also delivered Meals on Wheels for 10 years. Shirley was married to Finley Brown from 1958 - 1975 and had one daughter, Susanne.

Shirley received her Bachelors in Education from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL and later her Masters in Education from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. She taught 4th grade at Linden West Elementary School from 1968 to 1989. She then moved to Fox Hill Elementary School in 1990 and taught 2nd grade until 1998 when she retired. Teaching and children were her passion.

She is predeceased by her parents, Walter and Leona Helmold of Tipton, IA and sister, Joanne Beckley of Tipton, IA.

Shirley is immediately survived by her husband, Robert McMillin; daughter and son-in-law, Susanne (Brown) Helms and John Helms of Winston, MO; and nephew, Dan Plate and his wife, Heather Plate, of Tipton, IA.


  • Walter Helmold, Father
  • Leona Helmold, Mother
  • Joanne Beckley, Sister
  • Robert McMillin, Husband
  • Susanne (Brown) Helms, Daughter
  • John Helms, Son-in-law
  • Dan (Heather) Plate, Nephew


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Shirley Arlene (Helmold) McMillin

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