Shirley Ann Petersen

Shirley Ann Petersen passed away peacefully at the age of 75 on March 9th, 2024 surrounded by her loving family. Visitation will be held at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home in Lawrence on Friday, March 15th, from 10:00-11:00 AM with Funeral Services immediately following in the Chapel.

“When someone you love becomes a memory, their memory becomes a treasure” – Unknown

On September 30th, 1948, Shirley was born to Henry and Dorothy Blakley at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka, Kansas. She graduated from Mayetta high school in 1966. After high school, Shirley worked at Hallmark Cards, as a housewife, a softball umpire, a brewista at Coffee Lovers, and a dog groomer at Canine Coiffures. This is where she met her best friend, Ruth Tessendorf. After retiring from Burlington Coat Factory, she enjoyed watching and supporting her grandkids while they played a variety of sports, participated in the school band, sang in the school choir and competed in activities like debate. She loved working crossword puzzles, putting large jigsaw puzzles together (some taking up to 10 months to complete), working on color by number pages,
reading all types of books (especially mysteries), doing crafts with yarn, shopping for and with the grandkids and walking around Walmart and Dollar General (DG’s as she called it).

Shirley enjoyed volunteering with the American Kennel Club, Sunflower Kennel Club and several other clubs in the area to help with dog show events. She absolutely loved all dogs; size, color or breed did not matter. From prized hunting dogs with her husband, to sheep dogs, corgis, yorkies, boston terriers, golden retrievers and every mutt in between, Shirley welcomed and made a home for all of them. She also loved and spoiled all of her grandpuppies when given the opportunity. Shirley loved volunteering her time with the De Soto High School football team every Friday afternoon. She took pride in setting up and passing out meals to the players prior to the football game. She always wanted to make sure those boys were well fed.

On March 30th, 1974, Shirley met the man of her dreams when she was set up on a blind date by family and friends. Just over five months later, on September 7th, 1974, Duane Petersen and Shirley Blakley were married at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Holton, Kansas and enjoyed 49 wonderful years together. They had four children, Jason Lee Petersen, Kelley Jo Grammer (Tracy Grammer), Jaime Lee Werner (Jeff Werner), and Andrea Lynn Vogts (David Vogts). Their three daughters blessed them with nine grandchildren: Lenley Bonham, Thomas Bonham, Jasen Grammer, Logan Werner, Serenity Vogts, Tessa Werner, Carson Vogts, Haylee Vogts, Piper Vogts and one great-granddaughter: Baylor Bonham.

Shirley loved to travel. Once she and Duane were married, they traveled all over the United States and into Canada. Most of their destinations included Mountains, Historical sites, Scenic Views like the Grand Canyon and lots of windshield time, since they rarely flew. The last trip they took together led them to the San Diego Zoo, Hoover Dam and multiple National Parks. Shirley always wanted to see Niagara Falls and now, she has the perfect vantage point.

She was known to everyone as a kind, generous woman who had the best smile. She never knew a stranger and welcomed everyone into her home. Although Shirley only had four biological children, all of her children’s friends knew her as “mom”. Shirley loved to sing and when she wasn’t singing, she was humming. Family and friends would often find her dancing or swaying while making supper, as she hummed to a song only she could hear. She had the most beautiful voice.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Dorothy Blakley; three of her sisters, Donna Duncan, Judy Blakley and Marie Beasterfield; and her son Jason Petersen. She is survived by her husband, Duane Petersen of Leavenworth, KS; their three daughters, Kelley Grammer of Shawnee, KS, Jaime Werner of Ozawkie, KS, and Andrea Vogts of Kansas City, KS; and her sister Betty Mayer of Bentonville AR.

Flowers can be sent to Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home or Donations can be made to Jefferson County Humane Society. Online condolences may be sent to

Messages & Condolences

From Amanda Mische...

Bob, Kelley, Jaime, Andy and Family,

I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Shirley was an amazingly sweet woman and I am grateful for every moment that I got to spend with her. I was blessed to be included by her in so many family experiences, and that will always mean the world to me! I love you all!

Amanda and Chad Mische
Lucas, Saige and Garrett

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