Shirley Ann Donahue

Shirley Ann (Williams) Donahue, 84, of Lee’s Summit passed away peacefully February 18, 2021 with her family by her side. Shirley was a long-time resident of John Knox Village Independent Living and Assisted Living. Shirley was born in Kansas City, MO on September 2, 1936 to Marguerite L. and Thomas Williams. She graduated from Northeast High School and received her registered nurse degree from Trinity Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing. Shirley spent her 35-year nursing career at “the old” Menorah Hospital.

Shirley was preceded in death by her brother Leon T. Williams and longtime loving companion Anthony J. Galate, his son Steve Galate and longtime friend Anna Snow. Shirley is survived by her three children Bryon Donahue (Cyndi) Independence, MO, Darrin Donahue (Jerri) Pleasant Hill, MO, and Angela Donahue Kansas City, Mo. Her sister-in-law Georgeanna Williams. As well as Anthony’s children John Galate (Jill), Mike Galate (Cheryl), Tom Galate (Teri), Tony Galate (Cindi), and Anthony’s daughter-in-law Cyndy Galate. She is also survived by granddaughters Jessie and Hannah Donahue and Joseph and Daniel Galate along with an multitude of Anthony’s grandchildren, nephew Michael and Scott and niece Amy.

Shirley appreciated spending time with her family and her friends. She enjoyed traveling with her long-time friend, Pat Hankins. She and her prayer partner, Kay Clemons went to Spain one year which remained forever in her memory.

After retiring mom was able to take History classes at UMKC, becoming a member at the Nelson’s Art Gallery.

Shirley loved to swim and was a longtime member of the YMCA.

For the past three years she and her “buddy” Donna would scooter up and down the halls of JKVAL. During her time at Assisted Living, she was involved in bible study, arts and crafts (thanks to Donna), Hymn Sing, current events with Paul, Family Fun Nights, Knitting, BINGO and the list “could” go on and on. We as the family extend a huge thank you for your love, compassion, care and many years of enjoyment! Shirley enjoyed a nightly game of dominoes with her friends Mardy and Donna.

She expressed her gratitude daily for those at John Knox Village. Shirley thought of you all as extended family. She will be sadly missed at ‘ole JKV.

Shirley was not a stranger to anyone she would meet. She had this infectious smile.

Shirley’s Celebration of Life service will be May 23, 2021, at 3 pm at Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 14651 SW Peterson Road, Kansas City, MO 64149.  A visitation will precede the service from 2-3 pm.  At the request of the family and venue, masks/face coverings will be required inside and social distancing measures will be observed. Thank you for your understanding.

Shirley will be laid to rest during a private burial service at Elmwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to John Knox Village Assisted Living activities program.


  1. Norma Conrad on April 19, 2021 at 3:59 am

    I will miss the joy I found in watching your passion for life through the pictures provided by your loving daughter Angie. Take your rest now as you have left us a great legacy of what it means to live life to the fulliest!

  2. Pat Hankins on May 4, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Shirley and I did so many things together. We bought bikes and decided to do a 40 mile bike ride for a charity. When Shirley and I returned her son took his mom’s bike and sold it. Shirley and I would go camping, took History class together at UMKC. We volunteered at Salvation Army serving meals for each person. I remember She and I going to plays, operas and ballets. We were never bored. We traveled to Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand. I was blessed to have Shirley as my best friend of thirty years.

  3. Dan Rexroth, President of John Knox Village on May 21, 2021 at 11:51 am

    Shirley was a bright spot and always had a happy face. She was a long time resident here at John Knox Village and was loved by everyone who knew her. She will be greatly missed and we will all have a Shirley sized hole in our heart that will never be filled. She left a wonderful legacy and helped make this community a great place for everyone who lives and works here.
    Blessings to the family for allowing us to know her and love her.

  4. Rob Young on May 22, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Bryon, Darin,
    I remember many times going to your house down in the basement to listen to our music and your mom was always very nice (and very tolerant). I’m glad to know she enjoyed her life with Tony and her friends long after those days.

  5. Hannah Donahue on August 21, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    Growing up, my grandmother had 3-5 main snacks in her house. Boiled eggs, ramen noodles, gushers, juicy juices, and American cheddar sliced cheese. I looked forward to spending time with my grandmother from childhood to adulthood.
    Whenever she moved from house to different living assistance locations, I knew it was going to be an interesting experience. She always had something funny or sassy to say and she said she would make the best of it no matter what. I believed she did.
    She always told me she was proud of me and encouraged me to not let people walk all over me.
    I miss you, grandma.

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