Shirley Carol Domer returned to nonexistence on January 30, 2021, having avoided living in a nursing home.
Shirley was born on September 5, 1935 at home in Odessa. Missouri. Thought to be stillborn, she was laid aside. She owed her life not only to her parents, Cleo and Leslie Mueller, but also to her Aunt Vena, who noticed the baby’s slight movement and pounded breath into its body.
From this rocky beginning, Shirley proceeded through life with curiosity, exploration, and finally, disappointment in human’s failure to protect the planet for future generations. She became an avid reader at four and kept reading until she died saying, “It’s time to close the book.” She also made various kinds of art, sewed, gardened, and baked.
Shirley graduated from William Jewell College and later earned the Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, where she was the founding director of KU Info and the university’s first director of Affirmative Action. In 2018 the Emily Taylor Center at KU gave Shirley its Pioneer Woman award.
She regretted leaving her husband Dennis Domer, after 45 years together. She also left three children, James “Oz” Wille (Marianne), Nancy Reinking (Todd), and Carol Masterson (Bill Simpson); six grandchildren, Grant Wille (Blair), Logan Wille, Zachary Reinking, Cleo Reinking, Pippi Simpson, and Zander Simpson; a great grandson, Miles Wille; and her brother, Holmes Osborne (Candace.)
She was fortunate to realize her dream of living in the country at the end of a road with a 180º view of the woods. She hoped to be reincarnated as a crow.
There will be a private burial at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, and eventually a memorial service at Pioneer Cemetery for family and friends.