Shirley Joan Kral died peacefully in Topeka, Kansas, on November 3, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born September 28, 1937, in rural Home City, Kansas, and eventually moved to Topeka. She graduated from Marysville High School in 1955. In January of 1958, Shirley married the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Kral. For 26 years she worked as an insurance adjuster for Shelter Insurance, retiring in 1997.
Shirley is survived by: her daughter, Debbie of Topeka, and her son, Gary of Santa Cruz, California; grandchildren, Brian (Catrina), Stefanie, Marina and Lauren; and great-grand-children, Cortlin and Natalia. She is also survived by her sister, Elaine Nolen; her beloved dog B.G.2; sister-in-law, Marilyn Callaway; and nieces and nephews, Charlene Gipson (Rex), Rick Brickei (Tracy), Larry Tenopir, Larry Linn, David Linn (Gladys), and Linda Kennedy (Terry). She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; beloved dogs Bailey and B.G.1; parents Arthur and Verna Zech; in-laws Herman and Josie Kral; sister-in-law Della Mae; and brothers-in-law, Harley Linn and Ray Nolen.
Shirley was filled with compassion for friends and family and was always there to lend a hand. She lived life to the fullest and she believed in experiencing everything. Her creed was:
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely
in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways,
totally worn out, shouting
“holy shit . . . what a ride!”
She was a “World Traveler” with friend, Philicia McKee, and they had many fabulous adventures in Africa, Europe, Australia, Mexico, India, Greece, Turkey, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. In 41 years, they made 60 trips together, visited 6 continents, and 44 countries.
She was a loyal KU basketball fan, and enjoyed going to games with her nephew, Larry Tenopir. She had Kansas City Chiefs season tickets for several years with Philicia, and they attended many games in other cities including professional football, baseball and basketball. Shirley loved storm chasing with Top City Twisters, owned by her grandson, Brian. Shirley loved animals of all types, especially yellow Labradors. All types of animals loved her . . . even cats.
Shirley was a devoted and faithful volunteer for Keep America Beautiful and was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year in 2010.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, November 10th at 4:00 p.m. at Dove Southwest Chapel ,3700 SW Wanamaker. A reception will follow. Private burial services will be held at a later date. She will be interred at West Lawn Cemetery alongside her husband.
Memorial contributions may be made to Midland Care, 200 SW Frazier Circle, Topeka, KS, 66606.
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