Shirley Lou Coulter

Shirley was born on a farm in Russell County near Wilson, KS, to Mary B. and Ben F. Steinle on January 29, 1933, and passed away August 3rd in Topeka, KS at the Midland Hospice House.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ted; her sister, Bernadine Brack; brother-in-law, Everett Brack; and her oldest sister, Bernice, who died in infancy.

She is survived by three children, Marvin, Americus; Jill Hutchinson (Clint Tosh), Topeka; and Sylve Coulter, Lawrence; 8 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, a niece, Connie McNaul (Phil), Shell Knob, Missouri, and nephew, Les Brack (Kim), Topeka. Shirley enjoyed reading, flower gardening, sewing, making her own clothes as well as her husband’s trousers and sports coats, spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and helping others.

Shirley attended Fairmont School in first grade at the age of five and continued her education in the Dorrance School district. She graduated as valedictorian of her senior class at Dorrance High School. Shirley attended Fort Hays State University, receiving her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in 1957 and1963, respectively. In 1952, she was a member of the Fort Hays A Cappella Choir, which toured and presented concerts in various Western Kansas schools. She later took post graduate courses at the University of Kansas, receiving certification in special needs, to teach learning disabilities classes.

Shirley served as vice-president and president of the Reno County Teachers Association in 1963 and 1964. She was innovative in teaching the first kindergarten class at Nickerson Grade School in Nickerson, Kansas. She had experience teaching preschool, primary grades, intermediate, and junior high students, as well as being an instructor at Haskell Indian Nations University, where she was on the first committee to plan their teacher education program. Shirley enjoyed little children and loved to see them learn new skills. She appreciated having the opportunity to teach students at various levels, noting progress that they made and encouraging them along the way. Shirley retired from Haskell in 1996.

In Lawrence, Shirley volunteered as troop service director for Girl Scouts (Brownies), was room mother several years at Schwegler School, and was treasurer for Boy Scouts (Cub Scouts).

Shirley was actively involved at First United Methodist, where she taught children’s Sunday School classes, was a member in a women’s circle, and served as vice-president and president of the United Methodist Women’s group. She made a banner, ALIVE IN MISSION, that hung in the sanctuary for some time.

A visitation for Shirley Lou Coulter, 88, Lawrence, KS is set for 6:00pm ~ 8:00 p.m., Monday, August 9, 2021, at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence, KS. A Funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at First United Methodist Church in Lawrence, KS. Burial will take place at Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, KS.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a scholarship fund in Shirley’s name at Haskell Indian Nations University or Alzheimer’s Association, sent to Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

1 Condolence

  1. Tammie Torneden-White on August 6, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Sylve, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I will be here for you. Know that I am only a phone call a way. May your mom rest eternally in peace.

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