Shirley Marie Kleyer Stavinoha of Rosenberg, preferring not to spend another hot summer in Texas, died Friday, June 22, 2019. Per her request, there were no services. She also requested no obituary, so her children are walking a fine line by having this published.
Shirley was born July 1, 1925 in Louisville, Kentucky to Julia Brown Kleyer and Edward Charles Kleyer. She spent happy years here surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents that she adored.
Her maternal side of the family was Irish and she had the quick wit required to thrive in that environment.
She inherited her dad’s love of baseball and she spent many hours playing alongside the neighborhood boys in the West End of Louisville.
She remained a life-long fan of the game and was particularly partial to the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Shirley planned to be a doctor and was in her first semester of medical classes when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
After that there were not enough teachers to offer the classes because the majority of the faculty went into the service.
She then went to work for the Federal Reserve.
In 1948, Shirley and her mother were taking a trip to California and they stopped to visit a friend in Texas.
It was then that she met her husband, Freddie Stavinoha, and as her mom always said, they never made it to California. Shirley and Freddie were married November 25, 1948 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Rosenberg.
They lived on Baker Moore Road in a 15x30 house that they ordered through the Sears and Roebuck catalogue.
The property was snake-infested but that was no problem for Shirley, who had grown up target shooting with her dad.
Shirley spent the next 20 years raising her family and occasionally working with her parents at the Western Union office.
After all of her children were in school, she returned to her original dream by enrolling in a Medical Assistant program.
After graduating she spent many years volunteering at the Guadalupe Clinic with Sister Mary Walter.
Shirley was a wonderful hostess who frequently braved Houston traffic to pick up friends or family at the airport. She was an excellent cook who “took requests for favorites” whenever someone came.
She loved listening to music. She had a beautiful singing voice, and she and Freddie loved to go dancing.
She enjoyed playing canasta and bridge with her friends. She loved to travel, and her adventures included flying on the Concorde and sailing on the QE2.
She grew up going to the race track at Churchill Downs and she watched the Kentucky Derby every year.
She loved playing the slots in Vegas and she loved to play Bingo. She always loved Kentucky and returned to visit often.
More than anything, she loved dogs and some very lucky ones got to call her house their home.
Her husband Freddie preceded her in death in 2003.
She is survived by four children: Sharon (Glen) Hendrix of Houston; Kathy (Fred) Stanley of Lorena; Robert (Barbara) Stavinoha of Rosenberg; and Ken Stavinoha of Rosenberg; four grandchildren: Ken Stavinoha, Mandy Stavinoha (Jesse Herrera), Kim Stavinoha, all of Rosenberg, and Sara Stanley of Hewitt; one great-grandchild Ellie Herrera.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Cambridge Rehabilitation Center in Richmond for taking care of Shirley for the past four years.
She was one-of-a-kind and she will be missed.
Anyone wishing to make a memorial in her name is asked to make a donation to the animal shelter of their choice.