In Remembrance Of

Shirley Rudkin

Shirley Louise Rudkin, 82, of Gower, MO passed away June 8, 2024 surrounded by her family.

She was born on August 12, 1941, to William Henry and Virigina Lee (Deets) Wilson in Harrisonville, MO. Shirley grew up in North Kansas City, MO and graduated from North Kansas City High School in 1959. 

Shirley was united in marriage to Samuel W. Rudkin on February 12, 1965. After their marriage they lived in North Kansas City and in 1971, they moved to Gower where they made their home. Sam passed away on December 18, 2004. 

Shirley began working for Corn Products in Kansas City right after high school and later Farmland Industries. In 1978, Shirley went to work for the First Baptist Church Learning Center in Gower. She retired as the preschool teacher and director from the learning center in 2015.

Shirley was an active member and Sunday School Teacher for the First Baptist Church of Gower. 

Over the years she was known as Miss Shirley, helping raise the kids of Gower through the preschool and the church. Her love language was cooking for you, and no one ever left her home hungry. She was the Queen of Baking making the best treats for the community. There’s not a dish or treat she could not make. Shirley loved all children and most of all, loved being a mom to her three girls and a “Grammy and Mimi” to her twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She also had a strong love for animals and never knew a stray. Shirley’s smile could light up the room, she never knew a stranger and always accepted everyone as her own. She was a strong Christian woman with a deep love for the Lord and her family and will be missed greatly. 

She was preceded in death by her husband Sam Rudkin; her parents William and Virginia Wilson; her sister Barbara Phyllis “Tilly Toot” Wilson; and her brother Jim Deets.  

She is survived by her daughters Yavonda Joplin and husband Russell, Rebecca Burroughs and husband Christopher, and Jennifer Curnutt; grandchildren RJ (Trisha), Kristopher, Alex (Kristina), Briley (Jamika), Matthew (Hannah), Nicholas, Tricton (Samantha), Kylea (Zach), Dylan (Melissa), Kayla, Jenna, and Karlea; great-grandchildren Sophia, Aria, Jason, Warren, and Emersyn; her brother Billy Wilson; son-in-law Brandon (Ashley); cherished friends Sue and Tony Kauzlarich; other relatives and many friends. 

 Visitation 6:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 11th at the First Baptist Church of Gower.

Funeral Service: 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 12th at the First Baptist Church of Gower.

Burial: Allen Cemetery, Gower. 

Donations may be made to the church.

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  • Kathy Buchanan

    Shirley was Josh’s day care teacher and his dad and I went on many of the kid’s ” field trips ” this was in 1979- 1980..
    Shirley was a beautiful soul and a blessing to the families in Gower

  • Natalie Brendle

    I am so sorry for your loss! She was an amazing lady!

  • Don and Nancy Wischmeier

    Briley is the mother of darling little great granddaughter Emersyn. This is how we came to know this amazing lady. She was such a joy to be around. Always had a beautiful smile. To Becky I’m just so sorry about your beautiful mother. Donnie and I are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers

  • Nina Dowell

    I am so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Shirley will be missed by so many. She put Khrystian and William through preschool. They loved their Mrs. Shirley. She was always a pleasure to see and talk with. Prayers to the family.

  • Lynae Anderson

    Rebecca, I am so sorry about your
    Mom. I remember talking to you quite a lot about her. Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Mike & Jo Roady

    So very sorry for your loss

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