On Friday, April 16, 2021, Shirley Ann Rayner passed away at age 86. Independent and free-spirited since childhood, Shirley brought sparkle and joy to everyone fortunate enough to call her a friend.
Shirley was born in Kevil, Kentucky, to devoted parents Arthur and Lucy Johnson on March 29, 1935. Baptized at birth, Shirley joined Kevil United Methodist Church in 1945, where she will return for visitation and funeral service on Saturday, April 24, 2021. After graduating from Ballard Memorial High School in May 1953, Shirley attended the University of Kentucky for her freshman year until her wanderlust led her to Washington, DC, to begin a distinguished and lifelong career serving the Federal Government. While it was difficult leaving behind her family, including her beloved sister Barbara, she joined the FBI in 1954, transitioning to the Department of the Treasury in 1956, where she remained until retirement in 1995. Driven and bright, Shirley advanced from a stenographer to Liaison Officer representing the Savings Bond division, where she was often recognized for her outstanding service. During her career, she received numerous awards and commendations, most notably the prestigious ''Woman of the Year in Government".
Shirley had a passion for movement, whether on the dance floor or in her RV, where she explored the country and made friends and memories with her cherished partner Delbert. Sparkling and shining on the dance floor, Shirley performed with the Country Steppers, where her competitiveness flourished, winning her several awards over the years. She loved all things fancy, especially western boots, jewelry, and her infamous party hats that she lavished on anyone celebrating a birthday.
Most of all, Shirley loved spending time with her family and friends. Annual beach outings, holiday gatherings, countless graduation celebrations, weddings, baby showers, lunch with friends, calls with loved ones far and near -- all were important and cherished. She laughed often and cared deeply. While her sudden illness took her from this world too soon, she lived a full life. There are no words to express the loss her passing will leave her children, her three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, nephews, and countless friends. "Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord." -- 2 Cor 5:8. Shirley has graduated to her heavenly home and will now rest in perfect peace with her Savior.
Shirley leaves behind many who loved her including her partner of 23 years, Delbert Ashby, sister Barbara Beech (James), two children Kay Curling (Stanley) and Russell Rayner (Wanda Holden), three grandchildren Amanda Hilderbran (Matthew), Melissa Curling (Claudio Silva), Jesse Curling, four great grandchildren ( Porter, Hollis, Truitt and Kipling Hilderbran), nephews Wayne Beech (Lynn Ann) and Lynn Beech (Rebecca) along with her many friends from the neighborhood, Savings Bond Division and Northern Virginia Country-Western Dance Association.
Visitation for Shirley will be held Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Kevil United Methodist Church from 9:30 a.m. until funeral time at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Jim Guyette officiating. Interment will follow at Woodville Cemetery in Kevil, KY.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations br made to one of the following three organizations: Kevil United Methodist Church, 1052 n 1st ST, Kevil, KY 42053
Northern Virginia Country-Western Dance Association, P.O. Box 384 Merrified, VA
Syndrome Congress, 30 Mansell Ct, Ste 108, Roswell, GA 30076- www.ndsccenter.org
Condolences for the family may be left at morrowfuneralchapel.com
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