Shirley Z. Sebastian, 87, formerly of Jackson, most recently of Cape Girardeau, left this world the way she did most everything - in a quiet, dignified manner with style and grace on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau.
She was born November 20, 1935, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, daughter of Edward and Olga Birk Zeller. As a small child, Shirley lived in Cape Girardeau. As an infant Shirley was baptized at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jackson. The family then moved to the Zeller family farm near Tilsit. At that time, they began attending church at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tilsit, also the church of her confirmation. Shirley would recall, that at 10-years old, she first met the future love of her life - Freeman, at church.
After Shirley's 1953 graduation from Jackson High School, and Freeman's return from military service in Korea, they were married August 23, 1953, at Immanuel Church in Tilsit. They had been married 69 years when Freeman passed away November 28, 2022.
Shirley remained a faithful member of Immanuel Church until her passing. She was a part of the LWML, helped with many dinners, service projects, and served in any way that she could help her congregation. She also worked with the Lutheran Family & Children's Services office in Cape Girardeau as a volunteer and received the Volunteer of the Year Award from LFCS. Shirley was also honored by St. Francis Hospital for all the volunteer hours worked there.
Shirley was no stranger to working hard on the family farm and at her places of employment. She was passionate about her family, her family home, and always looked for ways to make it even more beautiful. She took classes to improve her work skills and became a Master Gardener too. The home landscaping was more beautiful than most parks! She was also excellent at entertaining and making her children's friends feel that they "were at home" in her house. She had so many talents from gardening, sewing, cooking and baking - she could do a little of everything and do it well. She was an outgoing, calm, and well-spoken woman. She would easily rank as the "Worlds Best Grandma" especially when playing competitive games of Uno and Bingo with the grandkids.
In Shirley's spare time she had been employed at Cox's Dime Store, Fashion Fabric's, The American Heart Association, Cape County Circuit Clerks Office, St. Francis WomanCare, and Holiday Inn & Convention Center, where she worked in Sales and retired from in 2000. After retirement she and Freeman traveled with friends and family and enjoyed time with their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Loving survivors include three children, son, Randy (Mary) Sebastian of Wichita, Kansas, Sherry Sebastian and husband Tony Jesse of Jefferson City, Missouri, and Patty Sebastian and husband Jeff Sherman of St. Louis; grandchildren, Heather (Dennis) Coventon, Adan Sebastian, Annie Sebastian, Jeremy (Heather) Jesse, Skyler (Heidi) Jesse, Tyler Sherman and Hailey Sherman; great-grandchildren, Lilly Coventon, Roman Coventon, Presten Jesse and Cameren Jesse; three sisters, Marilyn Zeller, Judy (Tim) Westrich, and Brenda (John) Christensen all of Cape Girardeau.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, her parents, and her brother Glenn (Mary) Zeller.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tilsit. The Rev. Mark Boettcher will conduct the funeral service at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, March 18, at the church. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.
Shirley's pallbearers will be grandsons, Skyler Jesse, Adan Sebastian, Tyler Sherman, and nephews, Dewayne Whitener, Gregg Zeller, and Kyle Barks. Honorary pallbearers are granddaughters, Annie Sebastian, Hailey Sherman, Heather Coventon, and nephews, Calen Wills and Andrew Christensen.
Memorials may take the form of contributions to Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church or Cemetery Fund.
Arrangements by McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by clicking on the tribute wall tab of Shirley's obituary page at www.mccombsfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley (Zeller) Sebastian, please visit our floral store.
Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church (Tilsit)
496 State Hwy. F, Jackson MO 63755
Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery (Tilsit)
496 St. Hwy. F, Jackson MO 63755