Brenda Kaye Shawley

Brenda Kaye Shawley passed away on Sunday, March 29 at her home in Lawrence, Kansas, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Brenda was born on February 15, 1969, in McPherson, Kansas, to LaVonne and Claude Shawley. She is survived by the love of her life Kala Loomis, her parents Claude and Lavonne Shawley, brother David and his wife Gabriella, nieces Alexandria Flory (Matthew), Amanda Patneaude (Nicholas), Analeesa Shawley, nephews Hunter Shawley, Chandler Shawley and great nephew Truman Flory.

Brenda and her family moved to Linwood, Kansas early in her life where she grew up and graduated from Linwood High School. Brenda’s love for athletics started at a very young age when she used to play catch with her dad and race him until she could finally beat him. She was a basketball, track and volleyball standout in high school and went on to play basketball at Emporia State University where she earned a degree in Physical Education/teaching. Her first teaching job was in Independence, KS but Brenda missed home and decided to return to the Lawrence area without a job just so she could be close to family and friends. She soon obtained a PE teaching position at Baldwin Junior High School where she taught and coached for 20+ years.

Words cannot do justice to Brenda’s positive approach to life and influence on those around her. She never met a stranger and her infectious smile would light up a room. She always made people feel like she had known them forever and there was nothing she wouldn’t do for you.

Brenda’s influence as a teacher/coach/mentor to 20 years worth of students was shown through the testimonies and support for her as she faced her health battle. She was a successful coach and in 2019 Brenda was named Middle School Coach of the Year by the Kansas Coaches Association.

Brenda loved sports, being outdoors and doing things with family and friends. She was an avid softball player and was a member of the Women’s USSSA Class C National Championship team. Her mom said she could “run like the wind” and no ball player better try to run on her as she could throw anyone out. She also inherited the love of music from Claude as he taught her to play the guitar. A love of cooking passed down from her Grandma Homeier and her mother LaVonne made many people happy with the fruits of their labor.

In 2006 after being softball teammates for a few seasons, she started a relationship with Kala. For 14 years, they were best friends and constant companions. They both loved the Jayhawks and spent many nights in Allen Fieldhouse. Whether they were playing basketball together (“I was open”), golfing, fishing, driving around Clinton Lake, going to family gatherings and niece/nephew activities, they were together showing what true soul mates and love could be. In 2019, they took a dream trip to Hawaii together. Brenda was loved by all of Kala’s family and was such an important part of every family gathering.

Brenda will be missed by all her family and friends, but her legacy will live on for a long time. We have been blessed by knowing her and are comforted in the knowledge that she is now in her heavenly home, running free. In lieu of flowers, a memorial scholarship will be established in Baldwin and can be sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.

A Celebration of Life for Brenda will be announced at a later date once the public gathering restrictions are lifted.

Messages & Condolences

From Kris Quayle Facklam...

My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I have very fond memories of playing basketball with Brenda at ESU. She was a great player and such a beautiful person. She will always hold a special place in my heart.

From Mike/Marilyn Homan...

She was truly a remarkable person. I am very sorry for your loss.

From Connie Wright...

I hired Brenda to be a teacher/coach at BJHS. I never regretted it for one second. She was an excellent teacher and role model. I was lucky to see her at LMH in October. She was smiling, looked great, and told me she was having a good day. I am thankful her suffering is over. To her loved ones, I am so sad for you. I hope it helps to know how many lives she touched in such a positive way.

From Ann Bemis...

Overwhelmed with sadness. Kind of at a loss for words. Sending love, strength, a world of hugs to all of Brenda’s family.

From Rachel Bailey...

I’m so sorry to hear about Brenda’s passing. I remember how positive she was on and off the volleyball court. She was kind to everyone and was an inspiration to many!

From Rich Volle...

I crossed paths with Brenda many times over the years in a variety of settings. Seems like I was destined to meet one of the nicest people in the world and I am better for it. Thanks for being a ray of sunshine for all.

From Debbie Wilkinson...

Brenda lived life to the fullest! Her smile lit up the room and she touched so many lives. My heart aches for her family and friends but know that she is flying like an eagle in a better place looking over all of you! May God bless you all❤️

From Karen Alfrey...

To Kala and Brenda’s family … very sorry for your loss. What an accomplished life she lead.

From Roger and Shirley Werholtz...

Claude and Lavonne,
We were saddened to learn of the loss of your daughter. We know nothing can relieve the emptiness you must feel at this time. You are in our thoughts.

From Richard Brauer Jr...

To the entire family may heart goes out to all. Peace to all.

Richard Brauer Jr

From Chelsea (Turk) Larson...

I am deeply saddened by this news. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. Coach Shawley was pivotal in my life. She taught me how to be good point guard. Many hours she spent working with me on my ball handling skills. Before every game, she would always ask me if I was nervous (she knew my answer ahead of time). I would always say yes and she would respond with, “Good. That means you care.” I’ve carried those words with me deep in my heart over the last 15 years. Our basketball team went on to have an undefeated season thanks to her leadership. She had an incredible gift to see the best in people and to push them to their full potential. She believed in her students and players wholeheartedly. She was an incredible coach and person. She will be greatly missed by many.

From Cindi White...

Kala so sorry for your loss. May the Good Lord wrap his arms around you and your family during this trying time to get you through it. You are in my prayers.

From Linda Manley...

Miss you, BS. You helped me in ways you’ll never know.

From Laura Kongs...

Brenda was such a wonderful person. Some of my best memories of softball were with her being to my right (I played second base) she was fierce on a field and so loving everywhere else! I feel blessed to have known her….Laura Kongs

From Billy Frentrop...

Definitely gonna miss ya sis ❤️You and until we meet again I’ll catch a couple for you ✌️

From June Loomis...

Brenda was the sweetest person I’ve ever met. I always enjoyed visiting with her. All of us loved her so much. She will be truly missed by us all. I take great comfort knowing that we will see her again in Heaven. Love you Kala. I’m so happy you were able to do all that you did and get to travel and have so many fun and memorable times together.

From Dana Knox Lewis...

I am so sorry for your loss, Kala. Between the Jayhawks, basketball and softball and lake trips, it sounds like you two have had a happy, fulfilling life together. Most couples do not have that much in common and opportunity to share so many things they love. You have been blessed.

From Jo Ellen Kasson...

You don’t know me, but I met Brenda through a mutual friend, Jill Bradney. Jill was both of my daughters volleyball and softball coach at Perry-Lecompton. My husband and I also played co-ed softball with Jill. Because of that friendship, Brenda attended numerous high school and co-ed games. I loved talking with her, always greeted with a great big hug and that infectious smile! She would ask about my girls and what they were up to, always the coach and teacher, but also a true, caring friend. I will miss our conversations and her!

From Marsene Feldt...

Shawley was the best of us! She always had positive or constructive words for everyone. Never one to get sucked into a problem, she could lead anyone to rise above it!

From Robyn Savannah...

This is a story of a life well lived. Gabby, I was able to keep up with every everything through the stories that Brenda shared with me. My prayers encompass your entire family. What an amazing person she was. Love, Robyn

From Claude R. Shawley...

Her Mother and I will miss her very very much, She was the joy of our life and was always our little girl. We are so proud of the wonderful , caring lady. The Good Lord Truly blessed us when she was born. We have so many wonderful memories that we can recall and it brings tears to our eyes. She is with the LORD now and her suffering is is over and she’s at peace with GOD. We will look up and talk to you in Heaven . Our lovely lady… Mom & Dad

From Howard & Gail Funk...

David and Gabriella and family so sorry for the passing of Brenda. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

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