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Rhonda Shirley

August 5, 1959 September 29, 2020
Rhonda Shirley
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Obituary for Rhonda Shirley

Rhonda Rena Shirley left her life on earth to join heaven’s angels on September 29, 2020. She was 61 years old. Rhonda was born on August 5, 1959, in Nebraska City, Nebraska, to James (Jim) and Phyllis Layman. From an early age, Rhonda loved spending time outdoors. She enjoyed fishing with her dad and basking in the summer sunshine. She bottle-fed calves on the farm. She enjoyed collecting Precious Moments figurines and McCoy pitchers. She loved to plant flowers in the springtime and had a knack for drawing hummingbirds to her back patio feeder.

In 1977, Rhonda graduated from high school in Sidney, Iowa. That summer, she married Arnie Shirley, and they raised two daughters, Heather and Emily; she called them her greatest accomplishments. When her children were young, Rhonda was a devoted homemaker. After the girls were both in school, she went to work at Fremont County Savings Bank for several years and attended her daughters’ various extracurricular activities without fail. In the late 1990s, Rhonda’s bookkeeping prowess and equipment operating skills were needed on the family farm. But even behind the wheel of the combine, you wouldn’t catch her without styled hair and makeup. Rhonda had a keen fashion sense.

Rhonda enjoyed family camping trips and traveling, including a cruise to The Bahamas and trips to Hawaii, California, Arizona, the Eastern Seaboard, and the Gulf of Mexico. In recent years, she enjoyed volunteering at the Southern Loess Hills Welcome Center.

Rhonda loved chocolate, coffee, concerts, Mexican food, shopping, Iowa State Cyclone football and basketball, holidays, cooking meals for her family, and decorating her home to make it warm and inviting for family gatherings. Rhonda adored her grandchildren and spoiled them — as doting grandmas do — at every opportunity.

Rhonda was a loved daughter, sister, wife, mom, aunt, grandma, and friend. She is survived by her mother, Phyllis Layman of Percival, Iowa; sister and brother-in-law, Lisa and Jeff Phillips of Hamburg, Iowa (and nephews Justin, Joel, and Garett); daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Matt Garton of Bennington, Nebraska (and grandchildren Lauren and Elijah); and daughter and son-in-law, Emily and Matt O’Rourke of Glenwood, Iowa (and grandchildren Ryleigh and Claire). She is preceded in death by her father, Jim Layman.

Memorial services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, October 5, 2020 at the Percival, Iowa Community Church with Pastor Dave Kersting officiating. Visitation will be with the family greeting friends from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday at Crawford-Marshall Funeral Chapel in Sidney, Iowa. Memorials will go to the Foodbank for the Heartland’s backpack program. Interment of ashes will be in Wyuka Cemetery in Nebraska City, Nebraska following the memorial service. The Crawford-Marshall Funeral Chapel in Sidney, Iowa is in charge of arrangements.

To send flowers or plant a tree in memory of Rhonda Shirley, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM 10/4/2020 4:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 10/4/2020 6:00:00 PM
Crawford-Marshall Funeral Chapel Sidney

500 South Main Street
PO Box 128
Sidney, IA 51652

Visitation with the Family Greeting Friends.

Crawford-Marshall Funeral Chapel Sidney
500 South Main Street Sidney 51652 IA
United States

Memorial Service




1:00 PM 10/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
Percival Community Church

2065 195th Avenue
Percival, IA 51648

Memorial Service - - - Per CDC Guidelines and at the Family's request, please utilize Social Distancing and wear a Personal Mask.

Percival Community Church
2065 195th Avenue Percival 51648 IA
United States

Cemetery Details


Wyuka Cemetery Final Resting Place

710 South 19th Street
Nebraska City, NE 68410

710 South 19th Street Nebraska City 68410 NE
United States

Memorial Contribution

Food Bank of the Heartland - Sidney Weekend Backpack Program


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