Shirley E. Mears

September 29, 1934February 10, 2021

Shirley E. Mears, 86, passed away on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 in Liberty, Missouri. Memorial service will begin at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at Resthaven Mortuary Chapel, 11800 W. Hwy 54, Wichita, Kansas. Interment will be prior to the memorial service in the Rose Garden of Resthaven. This will be private and for family only.

Shirley was born on September 29, 1934, the daughter of Elvin R. and Verda M. (Vercoe) Palmer in Van Wert, Iowa. As an only child, Shirley grew up on a farm and, in addition to her daily chores, she loved to use her imagination to make her own fun. Shirley considered herself a bit of a Tomboy who actively participated in the sports activities of her youth – oftentimes picked to be on the “boys” team. Shirley graduated from Marshalltown High School in 1953, and later attended Marshalltown Junior College before starting her career as a telephone operator at Southwestern Bell.

On March 18, 1956, she married James A. Mears in Marshalltown, Iowa. They moved first to Liberal, Kansas in 1961 and then to Wichita in 1962. Together, they started a family – first came a daughter, Julie followed by three sons, David, Mark and Terry.

As a homemaker, Shirley was always very active in the lives of her children. She had a special fondness for bowling, serving as a reliable member of multiple teams throughout her adult life, including some that competed at state, regional and national tournaments. Shirley made life-long friends in Wichita and was a member of various organizations such as, PTA, EHU as well as bridge clubs, book clubs and bible studies. She was also a leader for the Bluebirds and Campfire Girls organizations. Shirley was an avid sports fan and closely followed her favorite teams: Kansas Jayhawks basketball, Kansas City Royals and Chiefs.

Shirley was a faithful member of Central Christian Church for many years, and then later attended Westlink Christian Church before moving from Wichita to Liberty, Missouri to live with her daughter, Julie and son-in-law, John who became her loving caregivers as her Parkinson’s progressed. The family wishes to thank all of the healthcare professionals, caregivers and friends who walked alongside her during this difficult time.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Jim who passed away on February 17, 2002.

Survivors include: daughter and son-in-law, Julie and John Goehrung of Liberty, Missouri, son and daughter-in-law, David and Trish Mears of Plano, Texas, Mark Mears of Olathe, Kansas and Terry Mears of Pearland, Texas; grandchildren Taylor, Cooper, Mason, McKenna, Brianna and Devan Mears; step-grandchildren, Sara Goehrung Wolf, Ben Goehrung and Keenan Soto.

In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established in Shirley’s name with both Victory in the Valley ( and Parkinson’s Foundation Heartland Chapter (


  • Julie and John Goehrung, Daughter and Son-In-Law
  • David and Trish Mears, Son and Daughter-In-Law
  • Mark Mears, Son
  • Terry Mears, Son
  • Taylor, Cooper, Mason, McKenna, Brianna and Devan Mears, Grandchildren
  • Sara Goehrung Wolf, Ben Goehrung and Keenan Soto, Step-Grandchildren
  • Elvin R. and Verda M. (Vercoe) Palmer, Parents (deceased)
  • James A. Mears, Husband (deceased)

  • David Mears
  • Mark Mears
  • Terry Mears
  • John Goehrung
  • Taylor Mears
  • Mason Mears
  • Devan Mears


24 February

Memorial Service

11:00 am

Resthaven Mortuary

11800 West Highway 54
Wichita, Kansas


Shirley E. Mears

have a memory or condolence to add?

Scott Hansen

February 16, 2021

I'm sorry to hear about your loss Julie. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Danielle Mears

February 12, 2021

I cannot figure this out but I loved Shirley so much.