Shirley Belle McDowell Reavis was born in Kansas City, MO, on March 20, 1936, to Robert and Leola (Wright) McDowell. She had one brother, Robert (Bobby) E. McDowell. They lived across the street from Leola’s brother and his family. Shirley lost her mother just three days before she was to turn 18. This loss at an early age had a huge impact on the way she lived her life. Shortly after losing her mother, her uncle also passed away. Soon the two families merged, and the first cousins became stepbrothers and stepsisters. Shirley had been raised alongside her cousins and they felt like brothers and sisters even though the merging of the families happened after Shirley had left home. Some of her favorite memories from growing up were the summers spent with all the cousins at her Grandpa and Grandma Wright’s farm in Bethany, MO.
Shirley met her husband, Melvin Reavis, in Kansas City when he stopped by to visit his brother, James, who happened to live in the same building as Shirley’s grandmother. Within a few months, they were married. Melvin was deployed to Korea shortly after they married, and Shirley spent the first two years of their marriage in an apartment in that very same apartment building while she waited for Melvin to return.
Shirley and Melvin had five daughters and Shirley devoted her time to raising the girls. Those daughters went on to give them nine grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Shirley made their home a haven for her grandchildren. Christmas was always a special time. One thing you could always find in their home was big family get togethers.
When the youngest daughter was a child, Shirley went back to take college courses. It was when computers were first starting to be used and she saw the value of taking computer classes. That helped her to earn a job at the Hondo National Bank in Hondo, Texas. She stayed at Hondo National for many years and rose to the rank of Vice President and Compliance Officer before deciding to retire.
Her retirement didn’t last long. Shirley decided to start a whole new career at the Southwest Texas Jr. College working in the Distant Learning Department. This required her to learn yet another form of new technology. She worked there for years before she needed to devote her time to caring for Melvin who had developed Parkinson’s. Her final job was that of caretaker and she continued that even after they needed to relocate to a facility. They both hated leaving their home, but they made the facility their home. If you went into the community dining room, you would find Shirley busily getting coffee and anything else needed for the residents sitting around them who couldn’t get it themselves. She was kind and helpful until the end.
Everyone who met Shirley would comment on that fact that she was a sweet lady. The one thing that stood out to everyone was the sound of her voice. So many people have commented over the years that they could sit and just listen to her talk because they loved the sound of her voice. Her children could tell you that voice didn’t always sound so angelic! She was kind, thoughtful, and a great devoted friend. She was also extremely hardworking, and it was difficult to get her to sit still. She thought she always had to be doing something even when she could barely get around. She was also extremely proud of her family!
Shirley of Boerne, formerly of Sabinal, passed away on May 11, 2019 in Boerne at the age of 83. She married Melvin Reavis in Lee Summit, Missouri on July 21, 1955.
She is survived by her daughters, Ellen Milam of Ingram; Elaine Clark of Sonora; Evelyn Reavis of New Braunfels, Patty Reavis of Burleson, and Polly Robinson with her husband, John, of Boerne; grandchildren, John Milam, Jack Milam, Angela Prater, Matt Clark, Joshela Clark Quiroz, Derek Slater, Scott Reavis, Nick Martin, and Cory Bristow; step-brothers, John Wright and wife, Dianne, of Kansas City, MO; Glenn Russell Wright and wife, Shirley, of Golden Eagle, IL; step-sisters, Kathy Wilds and husband, Vincent, of Holden, MO; Billie Joanne Scoville and husband, Vernon, of Stover, MO; and numerous great-grandchildren, nephews, and nieces.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin, her parents, and her brother, Bobby.
A graveside service will be held on May 25, 2019 at 2:00p.m. at Waresville Cemetery in Utopia. Visitation will be graveside as well beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Waresville Cemetery.