Surrounded by her family, Shirley Louise Bronson Taylor, 80, left this world in peace for her new home in Heaven on April 24, 2016.
Shirley was the youngest of four daughters born to Bert and Rose Bronson of Bunker Hill, Kansas. Her three sisters, Mary Lou, Doris, and Betty, along with Shirley and her parents moved from Kansas to Petal, Mississippi when the Great Depression made farming in Kansas an unreliable way to support the family. Shirley’s father was a fine horseman, who had worked the fields with draft horses in Kansas, and continued to work with riding horses in Mississippi. Shirley attended high school in East Forrest, Mississippi, where she played cornet in the band, soloed in the Petal United Methodist Church choir, and was crowned Rodeo Queen on her horse, Punkin. Her love for both music and horses turned into lifelong passions. Shirley attended Southern Mississippi College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1958. While there, she caught the eye of a handsome member of the football team, who found his way to the family farm, supposedly to look at a horse. Shirley’s sister, Mary Lou, expressed suspicions that “it wasn’t a horse this young man was shoppin’ for,” which proved correct when Jim Taylor married Shirley in her home church in Petal, Mississippi in 1958. On their first anniversary, Shirley presented Jim with their first child, Russ. Ricky followed by surprise just 10 minutes later. Barely a year after that, Tammy arrived to round out their busy family.
With a move to San Antonio in 1963, Texas became Shirley’s home for the rest of her life. The next year, Shirley and Jim moved to Seguin, where they established their beloved Taylor Acres. In Seguin, Shirley taught girls’ Physical Education, obtained a real estate license, worked at Hexcel Corporation, and greatly enjoying working one day a week at the Seguin stockyards on sale day. She poured her love for horses into helping her children learn to ride and show. She was a committed parent in the Guadalupe County 4-H horse club until Ricky and Russ graduated high school, when she began her own amateur showing career. These experiences created lifelong, cherished friendships in Seguin. Her boys remain active horsemen in Texas, while Tammy moved to New York City and Los Angeles, developing careers in both theater and culinary arts. When Jim took up showing cutting horses, she became a big fan of the sport, making many good friends with her fellow “bleacher creatures” at cutting contests. Shirley also found time to be an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs, who are making her proud in the playoffs this season. After 44 years in the country, Shirley and Jim decided to move to town, and the chose College Station, where Ricky and his wife Martha were living. There they joined the family of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, for whom they are thankful and by whom they are blessed. They also loved getting to know Martha’s family. When Shirley’s health declined in the final years of her life, she was blessed to receive expert care, and the family is especially grateful for the kindness and love offered by Dee Blackmon and her wonderful staff at the Establishment and Grace House.
Shirley leaves a legacy of love and Christian faith to Jim, her devoted husband of 58 years, and three children, Ricky, Russ and Tammy, along with several grand- and great-grandchildren, two surviving sisters and a host of relatives and friends. If it is possible to enter the Pearly Gates on horseback, we know she rode in singing.
A graveside service to celebrate Shirley's life will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Monday, May 02, 2016, at the Bunker Hill Cemetery in Bunker Hill, Kansas with Pastor Earl Haggard officiating. Burial will immediately follow the graveside service. There will be no viewing or visitation. Family will greet guests the day of the service. Cards and condolences can be sent to the mortuary. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, Kansas, is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.