Shirley Ruth Byars, 86, of Geff, Illinois, passed away Thursday, February 10, 2022, at her home with her family by her side.
Shirley was born March 7, 1935, in Keenes, Illinois to Lester and Elsie Mae (Greenwalt) Cornstubble Smith. She married Glen Dale Byars December 29, 1957, at Ten Post Oak Church in Keenes, Illinois. He preceded her in death on October 21, 2017.
Shirley was a teacher, known as “Mrs. B,” for a total of thirty-seven years before fully retiring. She taught various grades and subjects at multiple schools, but primarily taught Home Economics and enjoyed being an FHA sponsor. Shirley was a member of the Wayne County Retired Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers Society International, the Fairfield Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Lamard Home Extension, and was a 4-H leader. She was also a member of Oak Valley Free Will Baptist Church where she played piano and taught Sunday school class. She was both an expert seamstress and a great cook, and she enjoyed taking on sewing and quilting projects and making food for others. She adored her grandchildren and great grandchildren, loved spending time with them, and displaying her newest pictures of them in her home.
Shirley is survived by five children, Patti (Mark) Owen, of Fairfield, IL; Sherri (Lawrence) Pennington, of Cisne, IL; Ritchie (Anita) Byars, of Geff, IL; Cindy (Spencer) Meagher, of Mt. Vernon, IL; and Rodney (Brooke) Byars, of Geff, IL. Also surviving are her grandchildren Candice (Caleb) Holbrook, Ryan (Lindsey) Owen; Andrew (Jessica) Pennington, Laurel (Kevin) Mason; Megan (Eric) Spitzner, Matthew (Meghan) Byars, Marissa (Mitchell) Levi; Kelly (Cody) Pratt, Jay (Erik) Rigdon, Joe Meagher; Hayden (Amelia) Byars, Chloe (Cameron) Gibson, and Chynna Byars; and great-grandchildren Haley and Kayson Holbrook; Janelle and Camilla Owen;Bristol and Rawlings Pennington;Brendon, Emily, and Lane Mason;Caroline Spitzner; Colson Byars; Lydia Levi; Henry and Lincoln Pratt; Brock and Brett Byars; Luke Gibson; and awaiting the arrival of Baby Spitzner and Baby Byars. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews and extended family Amparito Torres-Roca and Vanna Miller.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Lester and Elsie Cornstubble; husband, Glen Dale Byars; two sisters, Mary Lou Henson and Katie Talbert; and infant children, Nicky and Vicky Byars.
Funeral and visitation services will be held at Oak Valley Free Will Baptist Church located west of Geff, IL. Visitations will be held Thursday, February 17 from 5-7 p.m., and Friday, February 18 from 10-11 a.m. directly preceding the funeral service beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 18. Burial will be in Oak Valley Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to Oak Valley Free Will Baptist Church and will be accepted at the church or Hosselton-Meridith Funeral Home.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at www.meridithfuneralhome.com