Shirley Iva Burton-McCoy, age 87, died Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at Cambridge Memorial Hospital in Cambridge, Nebraska. She enjoyed an independent lifestyle until the end of her life.
Shirley was born in the Burton family home in Arapahoe, Nebraska, on January 18, 1928, to Harry B. Burton and Adelma (Sailor) Burton. She was graduated from Arapahoe Public High School in 1945 and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a four-year Regent Scholar. Shirley obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education.
On August 14, 1950, Shirley married her high school sweetheart, James Doran “Jake” McCoy. Shirley and “Jake” raised their three daughters in Arapahoe and she enjoyed a long career as an educator at several schools in southwest Nebraska. Later, Shirley assisted her husband, “Jake”, at McCoy Auction and Real Estate.
Shirley was a member of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Arapahoe, Nebraska, where she was Treasurer and participated in the Women’s Guild. She also was a Past President of Chapter CE, P.E.O. Sisterhood; Past Worthy Matron of Rena Chapter 212, Order of the Eastern Star; member of Daughters of the Nile; member of the Advisory Board for Order of the Rainbow for Girls; Treasurer of Furnas-Gosper Historical Museum Society; member of Furnas County Genealogical Society; and served on the Furnas County Election Counting Board.
Shirley was proud of her Nebraska and Furnas County heritage and enjoyed sharing her knowledge about local history with family and friends. She was forever grateful for the opportunity given to her obtain her education degree and, over the years, treasured the calls and visits from former students. Shirley enjoyed entertaining and decorating her historic home in Arapahoe with antiques and always shared the stories about them. She was an avid Bridge player and for many years enjoyed daily luncheons at the Arapahoe Senior Center.
Three daughters survive her: Candace (Gary) Torrance of Monument, CO; Michelle (Russ) Olson of Stuart, NE; Stacia (Ron) Thayn of Lincoln, NE. She also is survived by six grandchildren: Natalie Torrance of Omaha, NE; Pierce Torrance, Monument, CO; Brock Olson, Newport, NE; Sara Olson (Adam) Axtell, Kearney, NE; Tynon Cope and Keeleigh Thayn, Lincoln, NE. In addition, she is survived by four great grandchildren: Kinley and Brynn Olson and Reese and Cole Axtell. Shirley’s sisters-in-law, Lelia McCoy Haussler, Lucetta McCoy Andrews, & Fran McCoy also survive her as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Ben Burton, and her husband.
Memorials may be given to Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church and the Arapahoe-Holbrook Education Foundation.
Condolences or personal reflections may be left at wenburgfuneralhome.com. Viewing and visitation will be Friday, October 16, 2015, from 10 AM until 8 PM at the Wenburg Funeral Home of Arapahoe, Nebraska and prior to the service at the church. Funeral services will be Saturday, October 17, 2015, at 10:30 AM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Arapahoe, Nebraska with Rev. Karen Watson, officiating. Interment will be at the Arapahoe Cemetery, at Arapahoe, Nebraska. Wenburg Funeral Home of Arapahoe is in charge of the arrangements.