Shirley Mitchell 1948-2022

Shirley Mitchell 1948-2022

Shirley Jean (Walder) Roper Mitchell, Coweta, Okla., age 73, passed into the arms of Jesus on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, at Hillcrest Medical Center, Tulsa, Okla., due to pneumonia.

She was born Sept. 17, 1948, in Holton, to Jesse and Louise (Schumacher) Walder. She was raised on a farm north of Delia.

Her grade school years were spent at High Prairie Country School north of Delia. She was baptized at the Lutheran church in Holton. She then attended Delia High School and was a member of the final graduating class in 1966. During high school she was a cheerleader. There were 13 individuals in this class. She worked for Hallmark Cards in Topeka for five years after graduation.

Shirley married Bill Roper on March 14, 1970. To this union were born two daughters — Tammi and Tara. Shirley and Bill managed Limestone Springs Ranch south of Soldier until 1984. They later divorced.

During this time, Shirley was active in East Grant Unit and Pleasant Valley Rustlers 4-H club. She helped many Jackson County kids with sewing, quilting, baking and craft projects. Gardening, reading, sewing, baking and visiting were her favorite pastimes along with raising her two daughters.

On Jan. 11, 1987, Shirley married Jim Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Custom Harvesting, of Soldier. Traveling from Texas, through Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana during wheat harvest and then back to Colorado and Texas for fall milo and corn harvest became an important part of her life until 1994, when they divorced.

She cooked, did laundry, went for parts and groceries and cooked some more. She was always trying out a new recipe and most were well-received by the hired hands. During this time, she also continued raising her daughters.

Her first grandchild, Keenan James Mitchell, was born in 1991. Being Grandma was the highlight of her every day. With the pending arrival of her second grandchild, Kylie Jean Mitchell, she did not like the long distance. She moved from Holton to Ulysses in 2000. She attended every school activity, ballgame and church event she could and was Keenan and Kylie’s biggest cheerleader.

Grandson Camden Noah Ripperger was born in 2004. Granddaughter Gracen Noel Ripperger arrived in 2006. They lived in Broken Arrow, Okla., and this distance was too far for Grandma. She was planning another move to be near Tara and family when in November 2012, she suffered a stroke. Many hours, days and weeks of rehabilitation, with much help from Keenan, lead to her being able to live on her own.

She moved to Coweta, Okla., in 2013, residing at Carriage Crossing senior apartments. During the past eight years, she has attended every school activity, ballgame and church event she could and was Camden and Gracen’s biggest cheerleader. Several of the kids’ friends affectionately named her Grandma Giggles.

Shirley is survived by daughter and son-in-love, Tammi and Bryan Mitchell, Ulysses; daughter and son-in-love, Tara and Jeff Ripperger, Coweta, Okla.; grandson Keenan of Wichita; granddaughter Kylie of Ulysses; grandson and granddaughter Camden and Gracen of Coweta; brother and sister-in-love Carl and Linda Walder, Delia; nephew Wade Walder, Delia; great-nephews Chase and Truitt Walder; special friend of more than 50 years Jan Desch; many cousins and many, many friends. She is preceded in death by her parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Cremation has taken place. Services will be held in Broken Arrow, Okla., and Ulysses and burial in Holton, with dates and times to be determined. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Du Good Events, 107 N. Baughman, Ulysses, KS 67880; or Delia Community Pride, 412 Nora Ave., Delia, KS 66418.


The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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