Shirley Marie Freshour, 80, of Alleyton, Texas, passed away Sunday, June 11 in Diamond, Missouri.
She was born in Elizabeth, WV, June 22, 1942, to John Riley and Elsie Mae (Holliday) Archer. In February 1959 she married Calvin Marcus Harris. Following his death, she married Ronald Eugene Freshour on Dec. 8, 1971. The two were married for 51 years. In September of 1980 the couple moved their family to Columbus, Texas. She spent most of her life as a stay-at-home-mom. Later, when her kids were in school or already out of the house, she got a job at the Colorado County Citizen. She worked there for many years doing various jobs including serving as the bookkeeper, stuffing inserts, delivering papers, and whatever else was needed. She also enjoyed babysitting her grandchildren and playing the Super Nintendo with them. Super Mario and Donkey Kong were her favorite games, and she was pretty good, even if she screamed and swung her arms around a lot while playing. Later on, Farmville was also a hit with her. It must have been the chickens she loved so much. She loved chickens, and usually had chickens pecking around in her yard, as it reminded her of growing up on the farm.
Anybody that knew her knew that she loved God. Not only because she went to church three times a week (at least) for most of her adult life, but because she lived it. Some of her best times were weeks she attended camp meetings in Illinois, Texas, and West Virginia. She also loved working in the kitchen during the South Texas Youth Camps.
She attended Christian Gospel Church in Alleyton, Texas. There she taught Sunday School hosted ladies’ meetings and was a faithful friend and prayer partner to so many. For many years she and Ron also picked up kids and took them to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. Most of those kids still call her “Grandma Shirley”, as the church was her extended family.
She spent countless hours praying for her family, friends, church family and even strangers. She “knew that she knew that she knew” where she was headed when this life was over. She wanted that for everybody and spent so much time telling people about Jesus and how he died so they could live.
She truly believed God was her healer, having been healed many times. She grew up with severe asthma. In December 1970, she had one of the worst asthma attacks of her life. She visited her pastor and wife, Everett and Betty Snyder, who prayed for her. God touched her while she was there and she was completely “healed and set free” of asthma. There are many other instances of God’s healing and protection on her life and those of her family.
Even in her last months as she battled cancer, she continued talking to hospital staff and EMS personnel about the Lord. Although she really wanted to live, she believed that there was a reason for her illness.
She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband; sisters, Rosie Young, and Sylvia Damiani; brothers, Ellsworth Archer and Olen Archer; and great-granddaughter Emmy Fay Harris.
She is survived by her husband, Ron Freshour; children, Calvin Max Harris and wife, Debbie of Rock Island, Texas, Seldon Lee Harris and wife Vanessa of Granby, Missouri, Charles Jon Harris and wife Andrea of Taneyville, Missouri; Cynthia Mae “Cindy” Parkhurst and husband Bryan of Lander, Wyoming; and Veronica “Roni”Marchant and husband Kris of Lowell, Arkansas; 25 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sister, Ellen Douglas of Elizabeth, West Virginia; and brother, Lloyd Archer and wife Debra of Elizabeth, West Virginia.
Visitation will be on Friday, June 16 from 6-7 p.m. at Mason Woodard in Joplin, Missouri. Funeral services will take place at Community Chapel in Joplin, Missouri on Saturday, June 17 at 10 a.m. with graveside services after at the Diamond Cemetery in Diamond, Missouri. Services will be officiated by Everett Snyder, of Rockport, West Virginia, Ron Martin of Katy, Texas, and Jeff Jones of Joplin, Missouri.
Pallbearers are grandsons: Brian Harris, Matthew Harris, Jonathon Harris, Cody Harris, Tyler Parkhurst and Joshua Harris. Honorary pallbearers are grandson Gage Wasson, and great-grandsons, Wyatt Harris and Eddie Clark.