SIKESTON -- Shirley Maxine Emerson Stidham, 78, of Sikeston, escaped to eternity May 6, 2012.
She was born in Oran, the first of 12 children born to John Mac and Ossie Mae Pratt Emerson. She was everybody's big sister and little momma.
On May 24, 1952, at Fort Hood, Texas, Shirley married Ernest "Pat" Stidham of Chaffee. They had five children: John, Ernie Jr., Tish, Liz and Dani. Together they raised the kids in Alton, Ill.
On June 1, 2010, her husband, helpmate, and great source of aggravation left her for the next world. Shirley was also preceded in death by both of her parents; her beloved daughter, Liz; a cherished sister, Roxie; her youngest brother, Patrick; and three infant siblings.
Shirley will be remembered in the hearts of her nine grandchildren, John Michael Stidham and Racheal Zorger, Justin and Jenn Smith, Jeremy and Kelsie Stidham, Sidney and Zachary Hawkins and Jesse Stidham. Stories of her will be told to Carley Hill-Smith, Leif Zorger and Lily Stidham, her three great-grandchildren.
A wonderful cook and prolific gardener, Shirley was also a meticulous housekeeper. She felt that her cooking was not only a form of self-expression, but an extension of her love. In her garden you would find flowers planted next to vegetables; flowering bushes next to herbs and spices. Her plants lived in harmony and responded to her careful and thoughtful touch by growing in beauty and abundance.
She was proud to be a waitress and was employed by the Ramada Inn of Sikeston for many years. She took great satisfaction in ensuring her customers had an enjoyable experience and she always welcomed special requests. She rejoiced with her customers in times of happiness and consoled them in times of trouble.
Shirley was a Christian and practiced her Catholic belief with grace. Like any mother, sister, aunt or grandmother who leaves us, Shirley will be mourned, missed and remembered.
A funeral Mass will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 9, at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Sikeston with the Rev. Glenn Eftink officiating.
The Nunnelee Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
A private burial of her cremains will occur at a later date.
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may be made to:
Birthright of Cape Girardeau
2633 Hopper Road
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701