Shirley Ann Henson

Shirley Ann Henson, 63, passed away at her home on February 28th with her family at her side. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, March 5, 2015, at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Kansas City, MO.

Shirley was born on June 6th, 1951, to Leonard and Edyth Elliott, the third of eight children. She is preceded in death by her mother, Edyth (Witthar) Elliott, maternal grandparents Leonard Witthar and Bertha (Hoeflicker) Witthar, paternal grandparents Leonard A. Elliott and Josephine (Cilia) Elliott, sisters Pamela, Katherine, Kathleen, and niece, Kelli Marie Dorsey.

She is survived by her daughters, Genie Gourley and Candi Rawlings, and son Nathan Henson, sons-in-law Craig Gourley and Eric Rawlings, daughter-in-law Mariah Henson, father Leonard E. Elliott, sisters Barbara Daniels and Donna Dorsey, brothers Wayne Elliott and Larry E. Elliott and her grandchildren; Zachary Dalton, Katelyn Ashley, Jaeger Adam, Owen Elliott, Arabella Mary, Ellis Marie, Noah Stephen, and Miles Kruse.

Shirley was raised in Kansas City where she attended North Kansas City High School. She later graduated from welding school and went on to work for 24 years as a welder at Weld Wheels and PMI Food Equipment. Most recently she worked as an Assistant Manager at QT for more than 10 years. She loved adventure and was an avid certified scuba diver, billiards player, and tri-athlete. Shirley competed in seven triathlons and could often be found at her local YMCA swimming morning laps and training. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends; including her annual “Sister Trip” with sisters Barbara and Donna, meeting with her NKCHS Reunion Group for taco nights, and teaching her grandchildren how to swim.  Shirley was strong in her faith as a member of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Kansas City.

Her family extends a special thank you to the caring staff of Heartland Hospice; especially Angela and Jennifer, for the compassionate care she received at home the last 9 months.

The celebration of life service will be held at the St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church at 4737 N. Cleveland Ave., Kansas City, MO, 64117 at 11:00 AM on Thursday, March 5th.

A private burial service will be held at a later date in March.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers that donations be made to:


The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation

* Online: In Memoriam at

* Mail: The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation

5526 West 13400 South, #510
Salt Lake City, UT 84096

* Phone: (801) 999-0455

For those wanting to send flowers, please have the florist deliver flowers to:


St. Gabriel Catholic Church

4737 N. Cleveland Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64117


  1. Angela Garcia on March 3, 2015 at 10:55 am

    To all of Shirley’s family, be assured of my thoughts and prayers during this time of loss. You truly have an Angel in heaven watching over each of you in a special way. I was blessed to be able to bring Communion and visit with Shirley these past months. She was a great lady. Love and Prayer, Angela

  2. Stephanie Dodd on March 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I remember when Shirley was diagnosed with cancer. Not once in these past 9 months did we ever hear her complain. She was a trooper and continued to live life to its fullest and accomplish everything on her bucket list. Amazing woman!! Shirley”s family is to be commended for the care they gave her. We all enjoyed our visits with her and the family and we know she is at peace now. You will truly be missed by all of us, Shirley!

  3. Cheryl Lassiter Ball on March 4, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    You will be missed by everyone. It was awesome that you came to NKC High School’s 45th Reunion. You definitely lived life to the fullest.

  4. mary netherton on March 5, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Shirley will live on in her vibrant and loving children and grandchildren. Rest in peace.

  5. Malinda Ellis on March 10, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I only knew Shirley for a very short period of time, but she made quite an impact on me. As one of her medical providers, I found her “take life by the horns” attitude was inspirational to me. It was a pleasure to take care of her. My thoughts and prayers are with you, her family, as her loss has touched deeper and farther than many would have imagined. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

  6. Williams family on March 11, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Condolences to the Henson family. May Jehovah the “God of Comfort” bring you comfort and peace at this difficult time (2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4). Your family are in our prayers.

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