Shirley Theresa Newstrom, 82, of Topeka, Kansas, passed away peacefully on August 24th surrounded by her loving family, which was fitting since her family meant more to her than anything and she so loved having them all in one place.
Shirley was born on May 2, 1935 in Bryant, South Dakota to Charles and Mabel (Jefferson) Buckland and grew up in the Bryant area. She was the second youngest of 15 children and loved to entertain her own children and grandchildren with stories of growing up with such a large family.
After her marriage to Merlyn Newstrom in 1955, Shirley left Bryant and moved to Brookings, South Dakota and then to Rock Island, Illinois, Owatonna, Minnesota and Red Wing, Minnesota, giving birth to four children along the way. In 1966, she and her family settled in Topeka where she raised her children and was a resident of the Westboro neighborhood for many years before moving to Southwest Topeka to be closer to her grandchildren.
Shirley loved to visit her sisters in South Dakota and to play cards. She could often be found playing Senior Cards at the rec centers in Topeka. In her younger years, she would frequently play volleyball and bowl. She was fanatical in her love for KU basketball and passionate about being a mother and grandmother.
She loved her family deeply and was fortunate enough to spend many hours with her grandchildren watching them grow up, attending all of their sporting events and performances, teaching them card games, and making sure they always felt loved. In recent years, she was thrilled to see her oldest grandchildren get married and start lives of their own and was so proud of the wonderful adults they have all become. There are no words to fully describe what an incredible grandmother she was.
Shirley had one of the most loving hearts God has ever created and it was so full of love not only for her family and friends, but for the Lord. She attended First Lutheran Church in Topeka for over 50 years and was steadfast in her love and faith in Jesus Christ.
She is survived by her children, Cole (Vickie) Newstrom of Lawrence, Cyndi (Kent Davis) Newstrom of Overland Park, Dawn (Andy) Graham of Topeka, Doug (Ronda) Newstrom of Leawood, seven grandchildren: Cody (Rachel) Moran of Lenexa, Alissa (Dewey) Peters of Fort Worth, Texas, Linaya (Eric) Nevels of Olathe, Amanda (Andy) Koukol of Merriam, and Jacob, Alec, and Sarah Newstrom of Leawood, Kevin (Jamie) Newman of Lecompton, Matt (Stephanie) Griggy of Lawrence, as well as a new great-grandson, Carter Moran of Lenexa, six sisters, and a host of nieces and nephews. She also leaves her best friend and card-playing buddy Elain Bowen.
She is preceded in death by her parents, 3 brothers, and 5 sisters.
A celebration of her life will be held at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, August 30, 2017, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bryant, SD, with Reverend Keith Garness officiating. Burial will be in Our Redeemer Cemetery. Memorials in her honor may be made to First Lutheran Church, 1234 SW Fairlawn Road, in Topeka.
Penwell-Gabel Southwest Chapel is assisting with arrangements in Topeka, Kansas. Osthus Funeral Home in Bryant is in charge of arrangements in South Dakota.
To leave a special message for the family online and to view an extended version of Shirley’s obituary, visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com