Shirley Ann Brumley Stevens - My Aunt
Shirley Ann Brumley Stevens my aunt the fifth and last child of John Leo Brumley and Nellie Opal Sells, passed away on January 14, 2016, in Overland Park, Johnson, Kansas.
She was born on November 21, 1938, in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas. Eagerly awaiting at home was her four other siblings; Nancy Gertrude (my mother), Leo Isaac, John Junior and Jerry Brumley. There was eighteen years difference between my mother and Shirley and it wasn't until later in their lives did they become closer. As her sister was getting ready to venture out on her own and her brothers one by one going off to war she became the child that received most of her parents attention.
My mother and brothers loved to roller skate in Kansas City when Shirley reached the age of five or six it was now her turn to learn how to roller skate. I remember my mother telling me that since she was working she saved up enough money to buy her sister her first pair of skates. From then on they would go roller skating as a family. Her siblings taught her how to enjoy roller skating as an American pastime back in the 1940's and 1950's.
Shirley was getting better and better at her roller skating so her parents decided to give her lessons so that she could compete in competitions at various rinks in and around Kansas City. Her roller skating skills were outstanding and she won many awards. She also started to travel around the region for skating competitions. My grandmother would take great care to make her costumes so that she could compete at the highest level. She was our family athlete who could skate with the best of them.
Her life changed and started down a new path when she fell in love with Edwin Lee Stevens. Sr. born July 31, 1935, in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas. They began their life together on October 18, 1957, in Kansas City, Kansas.
Then her family grew by the birth of three children, Cheryl Ann, Edwin Lee, Jr. and Randall Keith Stevens.
While she was raising her family over the years, she was an artist and used her talents in many ways. She worked as a layout artist for Hallmark and with Mid-America Nazarene Publishing. She created beautifully decorated cakes and enjoyed belonging to a local Cake Club in Overland Park, Kansas. She made my wedding cake in 2003, which was beautiful.
When her father died in 1976, Shirley and Nancy were going through old photos and came across a photo they did not recognize as a relative. It was at this time that the family genealogy journey began with these two sisters.
As the year's went by many discussions on the phone or in person about family genealogy took place between Shirley and Nancy. Each one had the passion and wish to put together their information for their children to share through the generations.
Shirley's husband died on September 6, 2014, they were married for 57 years. Shirley and Ed enjoyed model trains and an entire room dedicated to their shared hobby. The “E & S RR” featured an extensive layout complete with rain and lightning along with beautifully painted walls and scenery.
Now on a personal note - Shirley was my aunt and I loved her. I am the oldest of all the cousins in this Brumley line. In my early years, I remember staying one summer with my grandparents and while I was in Kansas City my aunts and uncles went out of their way to show me a spectacular summer.
Shirley and I had many phone calls back and forth when it came to genealogy. We would brainstorm on many family members and I always enjoyed sharing information with her. We were constantly working on those brick walls we all run into while doing research but she never gave up and neither did I. On my last visit with her in October 2015, it was once again a piece of genealogy information that we had struggled to put together that I had finally gotten an answer too. I am so glad I got to share it with her and to see her smile one last time.
When my mother was in failing health I could always count on Shirley to help me in whatever way she could to ease my struggles I was going through when needed. Shirley always gave 110%, that was just her way for family and friends. I will miss her terribly, but she is now at peace with her husband and her family. Thank you, Shirley, for everything you did for me and for my family.