She was born Aug. 16, 1935, to Lee "Bo" and Cidney Marie Harkey Branum in the Coldwater community and was raised there. She was a member of the Coldwater Methodist Church when she was young, where she played the piano, and sang and taught a Sunday School class. In 1980 she became a member of the Senath First Assembly of God Church, where she attended faithfully.
She married Donald Ray Ozbun on June 28, 1954, in LaCross, Kan., while Don was on the wheat harvest. They made their home in Senath. During their marriage Shirley worked as a nurse, worked in the peach orchard that they had for a while and was chief cook and bottle washer while they were doing the wheat harvest for several years. Family was always her priority. Her husband, kids and grandkids meant everything to her. She was very humorous and always had a smile even when she didn't feel well.
Shirley graduated from Hornersville High School in 1953. She graduated from Jonesboro School of Nursing in 1962.
She was preceded in death by her parents and one sister, Donna Branum.
She leaves her husband, Donald Ozbun; three children, Tammy and Greg Gibson, of Senath; Don Jr., "Donnie", of Kennett, and Bart and Lorili Ozbun, of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; five grandchildren, Joshua and Katelyn Gibson, Garrett, Sydney and Blake Ozbun. Her grandchildren affectionately called her Mi Mi and Na Na. She leaves a sister, Mary Laster, of Memphis, Tenn., and Lee Branum, Jr., of Kennett. She also leaves a special "nephew", Vernon Laster, Jr., whom she and Don called their other son. She leaves many cousins, nieces, nephews and many, many friends.
Shirley was a retired nurse. During her nursing career, she worked at Senath-Hornersville Schools, Dunklin County Health Department, Dunklin County Memorial Hospital and area nursing homes. She loved nursing and taking care of other people. After she retired from nursing in 1990, she decorated the church for a period of seven years, and was a soloist and began doing crafty work at home. She was an avid visitor at the nursing centers in the area until her health slowed her visits.
Shirley loved this poem by Mary Dawson Hughes, "Only a Mother": There are times when only a mother's heart can share the joy we feel, when something that we've dreamed about quite suddenly is real! There are times when only a mother's love can understand our tears, our bitter disappointments and all our childish fears. There are times when only a mother's words can make us want to smile and give us the assurance that makes life more worthwhile. There are times when only a mother's faith can help us on life's way and inspire in us the confidence we need from day to day. Yes, so often through our lifetime, whether skies are gray or blue, it seems that there are countless times when only a mother will do.
Shirley in her precious lifetime exhibited these traits, and in her children's and grandchildren's eyes she was the mother of all mothers.
Memorials may be made to the church of their choice or the Multiple Sclerosis foundation.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., today, Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Assembly of God Church in Senath.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 16, at the Assembly of God Church with Pastor Chuck Clark officiating.
Burial will follow in the Lulu Cemetery.
Pallbearers are Vernon Laster, Jr., John Wilcox, Johnny Hughes, Joshua Gibson, Garrett Ozbun, Blake Ozbun, Katelyn Gibson and Sydney Ozbun.
Honorary pallbearers will be her Sunday School class.
McDaniel Funeral Home of Senath is in charge of arrangements.