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Gary Shirley

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 4:17 p.m. CST

KINMUNDY — Gary Shirley, 59, passed away Thursday, July 31, 2014, at his home after several months of illness.

He was born Dec. 31, 1954, in Lincoln, Ill., the son of James and Joyce Shirley. He married Marla Greenstreet Aug. 14, 1976, in Kansas City, Mo. She survives.

He graduated from Hartsburg-Emden High School in 1973. He then graduated from Lincoln College and Northwest Missouri State. He had a successful college baseball career.

He had a long career as a College Prep English teacher and coach at Kinmundy-Alma and then Farina South Central High School. He was the only coach South Central saw in its first 20 years of existence after the merger of longtime rivals Kinmundy-Alma and Farina-LaGrove in the 1989 school year. In 20 years at South Central, he posted a 431-133 record, highlighted by a Sweet 16 appearance in 1998. Prior to that, he had a 89-67 record at Kinmundy-Alma including back-to-back regional titles in 1986 and 1987. Gary was also named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005. In all, his teams went 520-200. He also coached baseball until 1996. In that time, he guided the Cougars to a total of 10 regular-season and tournament championships in Midland Trial Conference play. Gary spent his summers operating a painting business and continued to do so until early 2014. He was also a very active member of Kinmundy Christian Church as a Sunday school teacher, deacon and elder.

Also surviving are his children, Ann (Nathan) Taylor of Glen Carbon, Ryan (Jennifer) Shirley of Wildwood, Mo., William (Lisa) Shirley of St. Charles, Mo., and Jason (Morgan) Shirley of Webster Grove, Mo.; five grandchildren; his sisters, Linda (Kevin) Zinser of Emden, Lorita (Linn) Hellman of Princeton and Stacy (Tracy) Olson of Hartsburg; and many nieces and nephews.

At his request, no services will be held.

Memorials may be made directed to Kinmundy Christian Church, Beyond Us Ministries or the Lincoln College Athletic Department.

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