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Shirley Marie (Gearhart) Fifer

November 22, 1931 ~ March 20, 2021 (age 89)


Shirley Marie Fifer, 89, of Newton died on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at Newton Health Care Center. A private family graveside service will be held at Newton Union Cemetery.  Memorials to Hospice of the Midwest may be left at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory.

Shirley, the daughter of Leslie George and Florence (Miller) Gearhart, was born on November 22, 1931.  She grew up on a farm Northwest of Colfax and graduated from Mingo High School in 1950.  On April 9, 1950, Shirley was united in marriage with Kenneth Fifer.  They made their home in Newton.  Shirley worked in the nursery at Skiff Medical Center and for Dr. Hamilton’s dentist office in the Newton Shopping Center.  Kenneth and Shirley were members of the Prairie Ramblers dance band, playing for square dances at local grange halls. They also spent lots of time tent camping. Shirley was famous for her cinnamon rolls that she would make in a Dutch Oven over the fire at the campgrounds.  They also loved dogs and for a time raised Dachshunds. In 1975, after Kenneth retired from Maytag, they moved to Branson, Missouri.  While there Shirley worked in the Shepherd of the Hill’s gift shop. She also enjoyed hummingbirds that were known to gather at their home. Following Kenneth’s death, Shirely moved back to Newton in 2002. 

Shirley is survived by her children, Doug (Kathy) Fifer of Newton, Randy (Deb) Fifer of Newton, and Sheila (Dennis) Margritz of Shell Knob, Missouri; grandchildren, Matthew (Jessica) Fifer of Bentonville, Arkansas, Becky (Mike) Iske of Newton, Cam (Sara) Fifer of Newton, Ashlee Fifer of Des Moines, Lucas Hubbard of Kansas City, Kansas and Amanda (Lucas) Weishaar of Newton; great-grandchildren, Sheridan, Joshua, Caleb, Katie Joy, Mackenna, Laken, Logen, Parker, Maddie, Emma, Drake, Delaney, Zach, Austin, and Connor; her sisters, Jane Wolf of Newton and Roberta Emery of Missouri; sisters-in-law, Dena Gearhart of Newton and Marsha Gearhart of Newton; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Leslie Gearhart and Florence Balmer; husband, Kenneth Fifer; two brothers, Marvin and Harry Gearhart; two sisters, Byrnadeen Failor and Linda Gearhart; and brothers-in-law, Roland Failor, Newell Wolf, and Don Emery.

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