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Shirley Sibert (1926-2018)

Our condolences to Kearney Noon Rotarian Frank Sibert, who lost his wife of 65 years. Frank and Shirley were recently recognized as members of the Arch Klumpf Society for their generous contributions to the Rotary Foundation.

Below is her obituary as printed in the Kearney Hub newspaper on July 11, 2018.

KEARNEY — Shirley (Whitaker) Sibert, 91, of Kearney died Friday, July 6, 2018, at her home.

Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in Red Cloud with the Rev. Warren Schoming officiating. A reception will follow.

Williams Funeral Home in Red Cloud is in charge of arrangements.

She was born Oct. 4, 1926, to Ethal (Hosmer) and C.D. Whitaker at Red Cloud.

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 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

On Nov. 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, 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 10 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 15 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 and 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 1980s, 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 the Eastern Star, the Nebraska Cattlewomen 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.

Shirley is survived by her husband, Frank Sibert of Kearney; sisters-in-law, Ruth Cline and Bonnie Moore, both of Franklin, and Helyn Sibert of Red Cloud; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials will be directed to the P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund.

Visit www.wmsfh.com to send condolences to the family.