Floral 24

Shirley Ann Gurley

March 10, 1926 ~ June 16, 2022 (age 96)


Shirley Anne (Foster) Welk / Gurley, 96, of Sayre/Tulsa, passed away Thursday, June 16, 2022.

Shirley lived her long, large life, enjoying 96 happy years.  She is remembered for her strong faith in God, interest in living life to the fullest, a love of music and dancing, being around people and with an immense pride in her family.

She was born to Beulah and Harry Foster, in Wynne, Arkansas, on March 10, 1926.  Shirley grew up in Hoisington, Kansas, graduated from high school, and started work as a sales associate at a local woman’s clothing store.  As a child she learned to play the flute, violin and piano.

She married Harold (Swede) Welk, on December 24, 1945, and lived in New York City while her husband served as a U.S. Navy lieutenant on convoy duty.  After the war they raised seven children and she worked as a full-time mother and home maker.  A tireless worker and amazing mother, she provided a warm and loving home for her family.  In addition, she held various positions over the years as a secretary, physician’s assistant and operating a boarding house.  Shirley and her husband also lived Great Bend, KN; Scott City, KN; Carrizozo, NM; Tucumcari, NM; and Cordell, OK before eventually settling in Sayre, Oklahoma in 1964.  In the early years, when the children were young, they enjoyed square dancing and traveling home to see family for the holidays.

Following the death of her first husband in 1979, Shirley returned to school, after 34 years of marriage, and earned the Degree of “Associate in Science” and the Degree of “Associate in Health Technology” (Magna Cum Laude) from Sayre Junior College in 1981.  She was also elected to the “Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges” in recognition of outstanding merit and accomplishment as a student.  Following college she worked as laboratory technician at the Elk City Hospital.

In 1981, Shirley married Kermit Gurley, a long-time resident of Sayre and Superintendent of the Merritt School System.  They happily spent their time together with family and friends while attending school functions, basketball games, church, local musicals and working on the Gurley’ family farm.  They were long-time members of the Sayre United Methodist Church and singing together in the choir was always one of their great joys.

Her second husband died in 2016, after 35 years of marriage together.   In 2018, Shirley moved to Tulsa, OK to be close to family.  She resided at The Parke Assisted Living Center and participated in a variety of activities including Bible study classes, choir, Bingo and Skip-bo.  She felt a need to meet each resident and staff member to make them feel welcome and loved.

Shirley was preceded in death by: her parents; husbands Harold (Swede) Welk and Kermit Gurley; sons Jon Welk and Brit Gurley; daughter, Pam Welk; two sisters and one brother.

She is survived by:  children Bill and Phyllis Welk, Tulsa, OK; Bob Welk, Sayre, OK; Mike and Debby Welk, Austin, TX; Tom and Barbara Welk, Norman, OK; Debora and Robert Kelly, Rolla, MO; granddaughters Christa Wright, Lisa Martin, Abby Welk, Pamela Mooney, Stephanie Gilmore, Shana Gurley; grandsons Shawn Welk, David Welk, Robby Welk, Josh Welk, Jonathan Harvey, Adam Welk, Michael Kelly, Jon Henry Gurley; thirteen great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and many special friends.

Rose Chapel Funeral Service (580-928-3333), 906 N. 4th St., Sayre, OK will host a viewing on Sunday, June 19th from 1-5 PM and Monday, June 20th from 9-11 AM.

Celebration services will be held at the United Methodist Church, 802 N. 4th St., Sayre, OK on Monday, June 20th at 2:00 PM.  Interment will follow at the Sayre-Doxey Cemetery.

Services are under the direction of Rose Chapel, Sayre.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley Ann Gurley, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Shirley

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Rose Chapel Funeral Service (Sayre)

Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree


June 19, 2022

1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Rose Chapel Funeral Service (Sayre)

June 20, 2022

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Rose Chapel, Sayre
906 N. 4th
Sayre, OK 73662

Funeral Service
June 20, 2022

2:00 PM
Sayre First United Methodist Church
802 N. 4th Street
Sayre, OK 73662

Graveside Service
June 20, 2022

3:00 PM
Sayre-Doxey Cemetery
Cemetery Road
Sayre, OK 73662

© 2022 Whinery Funeral Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility