Cover photo for Shirley Strickler's Obituary
Shirley Strickler Profile Photo

Shirley Strickler

May 28, 1931 — January 14, 2024

Shirley Strickler



Shirley Ann Spencer Strickler, 92, of Wichita, Kan., died Jan. 14, 2024, in Wichita. She was born in Nebraska City, Neb. to Bernard and Ethel Spencer. She attended school there before attending William Woods College in Fulton, Mo., where she met her future husband, Bill Strickler, who was studying at the nearby all-men’s Westminster College. There is some poetry to the fact that Shirley died at the age of 92, her husband's (a mathematician by profession and passion) favorite number! 

Shirley is preceded in death by her loving husband, William Strickler; parents, Bernard and Ethel Spencer; sister, Jane (Don) Koester; and sons, Mitchell “Michael” and Kevin Strickler. She is survived by sons, Gary (Sharon) Strickler, Scott (Ellen) Strickler, and Eric (Beth) Strickler; daughters, Ann (David) Zweig, and Cathy (Mike) Hut; sister, Joan (Rudi) Slaughter; grandchildren, Sara Jensen, Jack Strickler, Ryan Strickler, Kyle Strickler, Megan Kowalewski, Jean Gonzales, Janelle Edwards, Stephanie Strickler, Karen Curole, Allen Strickler, Sam Strickler, Amanda Rao, Hannah Coleman, Jacob Hut, and 14 great-grandchildren.

After an overseas tour to Norfolk, England, where Bill was stationed at Sculthorpe RAF Station, they settled into the Antioch Hills neighborhood in Merriam, Kan. in 1959. In the midst of raising five children, she returned to continue her studies and graduated as a medical technologist from the Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City. With those credentials, she worked part-time in the laboratory at Baptist Memorial Hospital from 1970-81. 

Bill and Shirley moved to Lake Dabinawa in McLouth, Kan. in 1981, to a house they built themselves, and lived there until 2006, where they hosted family and friends throughout the years with peanuts and gimlets on the deck, daily swims and numerous boat rides. At the age of 60 years, Bill and Shirley joined the U.S. Peace Corps. They were posted to a remote island off the main shore of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific for two years, living in a small house without running water on the grounds of Misima High School where they both taught math and science subjects. Their time there lived up to the Peace Corps tagline: the toughest job you'll ever love! 

They enjoyed traveling to visit family and exploring new places domestically and overseas to experience new cultures and collect many memories. Bill and Shirley moved to a clearer lake and lived in Hot Springs Village, Ark. until Bill’s death in 2008. Shirley moved to Wichita, Kan. soon after to be closer to family. 

Shirley strongly believed in volunteering and serving others. Throughout her life, she volunteered for school, hospital and local public radio stations, and sat on numerous boards including neighborhood associations, libraries, water districts and planning commissions. But her true passion was her life-long involvement in the Republican Party. She worked for the Eisenhower campaign in 1956, served as a local Republican committeewoman for 28 years, and as a district and state GOP delegate throughout the years.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 10 at Grace Presbyterian Church, Wichita, Kansas, coordinated by the Cozine Memorial Group.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests considering donations of funds, books or time to your local library, one of Shirley’s great loves.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Strickler, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Grace Presbyterian Church

5002 E Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS 67208

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