Shirley Gutsch, formerly of Burdick, devoted wife, mother, grandma, sister, aunt, teacher, and friend, passed peacefully Jan. 6 at Midland Care Hospice House, Topeka. She was 84.
A private family graveside service will be at Delavan Cemetery near Herington. A Celebration of Life will be planned later in the year.
Shirley June Smithson was born April 30, 1936, a daughter of Wayne and Marvella (Burns) Smithson.
She grew up on a farm near Delavan, Kansas, and graduated from Wilsey Rural High School in 1954.
She attended Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia and graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1958.
On June 17, 1961, Shirley married Dean Gutsch, the love of her life, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They raised three daughters together, Dawn, Darla, and Deena at their home, a farm near Burdick. Above all else, Shirley cherished spending time with her family and always took great pride in her children and grandchildren’s ballgames, recitals, concerts, and important events.
One of Shirley’s greatest passions was teaching and inspiring young children to learn. She taught in Santa Ana, California, and Wichita, Herington, and Tampa, before beginning her 39-year career at Centre Elementary School in Lost Springs.
Mrs. Gutsch touched many lives with her dedication, kindness, intelligence, honesty, and faith. She always found the good in everyone. She was a member of the Hebron Lutheran Church and the Order of Eastern Star.
Shirley will forever be remembered by her husband, Dean, of the home; her daughters, Dawn (and her husband, Chad) Wilkins of Osage City, Darla (and her husband, Glen) Stout of Madison, Deena Abbott of Topeka; her sister, Sandra McKinnon of Ferndale, Michigan; her brother, Bud (and his wife, Roxie) Smithson of Delavan; her sister-in-law, Jewell (and her husband, Darrell), Swinney of Burdick; her five grandchildren, Jordan and Morgan Stout, Zachary Abbott, Tyson and Britney Wilkins; as well as extended family, friends and former students.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and brother Wayne “Butch” Smithson.
The family has requested that memorial contributions be sent to Hebron Lutheran Church, 2147 S 2900 Rd, Burdick KS