Official Obituary of

Bonnie Shirley

May 4, 1934 ~ March 3, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Bonnie Shirley Obituary

Mable LaVonne "Bonnie" Shirley was born on May 4, 1934, east of Albia, Iowa, in Monroe County. The day before departing this world, she said, "I've been chosen" and entered her eternal rest on March 3, 2024, at the age of 89 years. She was a resident of The Cottages in Pella, Iowa, since last November. A private family celebration will be held at a later date with burial in Corning, Iowa.

Bonnie was the fourth child of Fred Kenneth Gray and Marjorie Mabel Estlack. Her siblings were Geraldine (Jerry), Betty, Leland, Phillip, Marjorie Lea and Rosemary.

Blakesburg, Iowa, was home to her upper education where she graduated in 1953 from high school. On April 12, 1953, she married her high school sweetheart, John Paul Shirley in Lancaster, Missouri. Together they had five children who blessed their union:  Debbie, Cindy, Mark, Judy, and Vicki.

Bonnie was very handy with crafts, learned to decorate cakes with daughter Cindy - then proceeded to make and decorate her children's high school graduation cakes, she took up quilting, went to Des Moines and took the Bob Ross painting classes which resulted in several paintings for her children.

She was a former member of the Motor Friends Church near Milo, and participated in the Ladies Aid Society as well as serving in various capacities during Vacation Bible School - especially teaching the crafts.

Her early years as a farm wife she learned to drive a tractor, raised a large garden, and sewed clothes for the children. She enjoyed square dancing, fishing, and camping. After John passed away in 2004, she served a few years as campground host in Knoxville, Iowa, with 'Twinkles' her poodle.

In 2009, Bonnie suffered a debilitating stroke, forcing her to be wheelchair bound. She had limited use of one leg, no use of her right arm/hand yet she learned to write left-handed, dress herself, and lived in her home at Corning, until moving to Knoxville in 2018. Time after the stroke led her to table puzzles, playing solitaire on her tablet, and playing Skip-Bo with visitors.

January 2023, saw Bonnie needing more care and she was moved to Pleasantville Accura Care and then in November 2023, to The Cottages in Pella, until her death. This last move was ideal for Bonnie and she loved it there - you could find her by the fireplace soaking up the heat and playing BINGO. She was very fond of the aides and nurses - they were all considered family in this new home.

Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents; husband John in 2004; daughter Cindy in 2001; sisters: Jerry (and spouse Robert) Glenn, Rosemary Haskell, Marjorie Lea Anderson, and brother Phillip Gray.

Those left to cherish her memory include her children, 12 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and 1 great great granddaughter, two siblings: Betty (Milton) Ubbink, and Leland (Evelyn) Gray, sister-in-law Janice Gray as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Bonnie’s Family:

John Paul Shirley

            Debbie and Robert Van Waardhuizen

                        Brenda Van Waardhuizen and Dean McCarthy

                                    Dakota Cingle

                                    Chelsea and Nick Hughes

                        Melissa and Rodney Nevels

                                    Ashley Houser

                                    Josie and Bradley Sleeth

                                                Sadie Mae Sleeth

                        Bobbi and David Ammons

                                    Dillen Ammons

                                    Carson Ammons

                                    Elizabeth Ammons

            Cindy Baker (deceased)

                        Amber and Robert Sar

                                    Westin Sar

                                    Quinn Sar

                        Andrea Caverty

                                    Grayson Caverty

            Mark and Kim Shirley

                        Aaron and Leslie Shirley

                                    John Shirley

                                    Mark Shirley

                        Jamie Shirley                     

             Judy and Ivan Wolf

                        Eric and Denise Wolf

                                    Shae Wolf

                        Adam and Jessica Wolf

                                    Maya, Nathan, Evie Wolf

                        Todd Wolf

                        Sara and Jason Hefflefinger

                                    Miles, Kyler Hefflefinger                       

            Vicki and Roger Haley

                        Bryan Haley and Kayla Stuber

                                    Foxx, Cora Haley

Memorials have not been designated yet.  

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No services to be held


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