Shirley (Whitaker) Sibert passed away at her home in Kearney, Nebraska on July 6, 2018 at the age of 91 years. She was born October 4, 1926 to Ethal (Hosmer) and CD Whitaker at Red Cloud, Nebraska.
She attended both elementary and high school at Red Cloud, graduating with the class of 1944. She continued her formal education at Doane College for two years, receiving her teaching certificate. She was an elementary education teacher and taught music at Sutton public schools. She taught one year in Kearney and then enrolled at the University of Nebraska in music school and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music. She later earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education for UNL.
On November 9, 1952, she was united in marriage with Frank J. Sibert. They moved to Lincoln where she again was employed in the public school system as an elementary teacher. After two years in Lincoln they moved to Valentine, Nebraska and Shirley taught for a couple of years, then started giving music lessons to children in Valentine and the Sandhills area. She lived with her husband, Frank, for ten years at Valentine and they then moved to Omaha, where she again went to work in the Omaha school system as an elementary teacher for fifteen years.
Music was an important part of her life. She was proficient on the piano, organ and saxophone. During her years in Valentine she played for most of the funerals, weddings and was the organist at the Methodist Church. One of the highlights of her career was playing her sax at a program at the University of Nebraska - the emcee was Johnny Carson. He announced in his introduction of Shirley that she was a “sex-aphone” player.
In 1977, Frank and Shirley made a major change in their lifestyle. They bought the Rolling Stone Ranch 25 miles southwest of Valentine. They were on the ranch for over 20 years. This move proved to be both a wonderful lifestyle for both of them and also was a financial success. In the late 1980’s, they sold the ranch and moved to a farm north of Valentine. In 1999, they sold the farm and retired to Kearney.
Shirley was a member of the P.E.O., the Order of Eastern Star, the Nebraska Cattle Women Organization and the United Methodist Church. In her early years she was an avid golfer. A lifelong Nebraska Husker fan, she enjoyed football, basketball, volleyball and baseball.
Preceding her in death were her parents; a brother, Harold Whitaker and sisters, Alice Hensman and Lois Mensen.
Shirley is survived by her husband, Frank Sibert of Kearney, Nebraska; sisters-in-law, Ruth Cline and Bonnie Moore of Franklin, Nebraska; and Helyn Sibert of Red Cloud; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services were Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., July 17, 2018 at the First United Methodist Church in Red Cloud with the Rev. Warren Schoming officiating.
In lieu of flowers memorials will be directed to the P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund.
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Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970
Phone: (402) 746-2500