Shirley Faye (Asher) Dowell, an elegant woman of wit, intelligence and strength to endure, died Jan. 17, 2013, at the age of 95.

She was born Nov. 7, 1917, on the family homestead near Haviland, the daughter of Charles Allen and Isabel Lora (Elliott) Asher. Shirley attended Haviland High School and Friends University, graduating from Wichita University in 1940. She was a devoted educator who instilled a life-long passion for learning in hundreds of young people at Haviland Grade School and Greensburg Junior High.

She was a member of NEA, KNEA, Kiowa County Library Board (chairman), Kiowa County Democratic Party (chairman), Haviland Friends Church, Wellsford Community Church and the Kiowa County Historical Society (president). She was co-chair of the Library Committee that produced the Kiowa County History Book.

On May 17, 1941, Shirley married her high school sweetheart, Richard A. Dowell in Wichita, Kansas. He preceded her in death on Dec 13, 1983.

Survivors include a son James Phillip Dowell, Greensburg; two daughters, Mary Dowell Cukjati and husband John, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Peggy Frederick, Haviland; five grandchildren, Jacob Cukjati, Rollinsville, Colo., Lora Cukjati-Goodwin and husband Kevin, Winlaw, British Columbia, Canada, James Asher Dowell and wife Ona, Madison, Wis., Benjamin Michael Dowell, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Kara Wiley and husband Josh, Pueblo, Colo.; seven great-grandchildren, Jonah Goodwin, Mary Rose Goodwin, Gabriella Dowell, Zoe Dowell, Isabella Cukjati, Blayze Mahieu-Wiley, Talyn Wiley; and one sister Loretta and husband Alvin Crisp, Haviland.

She was also preceded in death by a son, John Michael Dowell, Sept. 4, 1964; and a sister, Betty Meyers Strohman.

Memorial services and a celebration of Shirley's life will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Wellsford Community Church, Wellsford, with Revs. John and David Crisp officiating. A reception will follow from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the 5-4-7 Arts Center, Greensburg. Services were preceded by a private family inurnment in the Haviland Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to the Hill Top House of Bucklin, in care of Fleener Funeral Home, 514 S. Main, Greensburg, Kansas, 67054.