Shirlene Kay Farris

May 14, 1948 ~ July 17, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old


Shirlene Kay Farris, age 75, of Dillsburg Pennsylvania and formerly Austin and San Antonio Texas, passed from her earthly life on Monday, July 17th, 2023 while surrounded by members of her loving family.  She is now rejoicing in God’s presence in her new heavenly home.

Though it grieves us to say goodbye, we also desire you to join us in celebrating and thinking on this lady’s incredible life.  We honor her legacy as a precious soul, passionately in love with Jesus and in service to Him.  A visitation and memorial service for friends and family will be held at 10am Friday, September 1st, 2023 at West Shore Free Church of Mechanicsburg, PA. 

Shirlene was born on Friday, May 14th, 1948 in Austin, Texas and was the second daughter to Riley and Alwina (Nauert) Farris.  She attended the Austin public schools and graduated from Travis High School, as well as the Breckenridge School of Nursing in the class of 1970. At the age of 18, Shirlene attended a Campus Crusade (Cru) retreat in California, where she truly understood grace for the first time and accepted Jesus as her personal Savior.

Soon after graduation from nursing school, she married and became a military wife and through the years mother to four sons. After 18 years of uprooting and replanting, God was preparing Shirlene to become a single Mom.  She always told everyone Motherhood and raising 4 boys was the joy of her life..

During that difficult season, she returned to school and acquired her BSN in San Antonio. Her deep compassion and desire to minister to those needing palliative care led her to become a Hospice nurse. She served selflessly and openly shared her faith with patients and their families. She exuded hope through a warm smile and contagious laughter.

Her relationship with God flourished as she was invited to a women’s Bible study, called BSF. Friends from that group invited her to Wayside Chapel, a place that would soon become her and her son’s church home throughout their growing up years.  At Wayside, she began mentoring young women, a theme that would continue with each new place God planted her.

After 8 years as a Hospice nurse, Shirlene resigned and took a 3 month sabbatical to wait on God’s direction. In this time of stillness, God reminded her of a dormant desire and call for missions. As Mom would later share, “It’s taking a risk that builds one’s faith.” In the Fall of 2001, Shirlene moved to Kampala, Uganda as a missionary with the Rafiki Foundation. Her 6.5 years there were filled with adventure and joy as she served in the role of nurse, orphan Auntie, teacher, loom weaving trainer and headmaster of an all girl’s school. These years would mark her life and created a homesickness for heaven, as overseas life made each place thereafter never fully feel like home.

In 2008, Shirlene returned to Austin, Texas to be the primary caregiver for her sister, Rylean and eventually her brother-in-law Fred. She loved the proximity that returning to America allowed to see grandchildren and family. She quickly plugged into another church, Hope in the City, where she jumped into prayer ministry, discipleship training, and continued mentoring women.

After 10 years, she again felt like God was shifting her to a new location, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, to be near her son Matthew’s family. Since returning from Uganda, she dreamed of having a home of her own to gather friends, grandkids, and to enjoy in her later years. Her little Dillsburg home became this refuge and meeting place for so many of her friends and family. She delighted in continuing to mentor women and in prayer ministry through her new church family at West Shore Free Church. It’s no surprise that in just 5  short years, she impacted many lives in Pennsylvania as well.  She served on the church prayer team, was a leader in MOPS, helped lead and teach women though the Mentoring Ministry, served on the Church Women’s Council and was involved with Mom’s In Prayer. That’s the type of woman she was.

As a friend, coworker, or stranger she met at the local store, Shirlene was a magnet. She never hid her faith and love of Christ from those she encountered.  As a faithful prayer warrior, when she told anyone that she was praying for them, there was no doubting her. She carried friendships from each season, a testament to the lasting fruit of her life poured out to others. 

As a Mom, she was an unshakable pillar of faith, ever-giving of her time and resources to help her sons become men who each know and walk with Jesus. We knew and felt her prayers, her guidance, and hope for our lives to walk in freedom with Christ. She also was an amazing mother-in-law who called each her “daughters-in-love”. She loved them like daughters that she never had.

As a Nana to 7 grandchildren, she was a beloved spiritual mentor and fun-loving grandparent. She enjoyed attending and cheering on grandkids at horse shows, 4-H competitions, sporting events, dance shows, piano recitals and plays.  She loved visiting and spending time with each grandchild, having unique and special connections with each. She was their biggest cheerleader and diligently prayed for them.

Shirlene loved many things. She loved being available to anyone who needed encouragement, a hug, uplifting text, call, or friendly smile. She loved hosting people at her home and lunch dates with close friends. She loved praying for missionaries, and gave continuous financial support to many across the globe for years. She even helped finance a dear Ugandan lady’s chicken farm business in Uganda. She loved traveling back there to visit cherished friends and help at the orphanage and school. She loved taking overseas adventures like visiting Michael in Central Asia or taking Payton to Europe. She loved exploring Israel and experiencing places Jesus may have walked. Whether Scripture, devotionals, or even a good mystery, she loved a good book. She never met a dark chocolate she didn’t like, could shoot a rattler with a pistol, and fend-off deadly Mamba snakes with a mop stick. She loved her Rooster Moses who greeted her each day in Africa. She loved gardening, flowers, and watching birds and tending to their feeders. But above all else, she loved to worship and spend time daily with Jesus through prayer, journaling, and reading the Bible. Jesus was the source from which everything else in her life flowed out.

Throughout her life she encountered many hardships, from the death of a fiancé, divorce, and finally cancer. All of these experiences equipped her to be able to step into other people’s hardships, to love and pray with them through it.  Truly her life is a testament that God wastes nothing for those who love Him.  She pursued Christ with a fervent heart that saturated her character and drew people to Him through her.  The countless lives she was able to touch and influence is nothing short of amazing and a picture of Christ pouring out through her. Close friends called her “Beautiful Feet” in reference to Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!””

She left a note for her four sons when she passed away that stated….”The race has ended – I hope I ended well….”  Well Mom, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that you did. Well done, good and faithful servant.  

Shirlene is survived by her four beloved sons:  Timothy J. Miner and wife Rosie, of New Braunfels, TX; Nathan A. Miner and wife Kristen, of Edina, MN; Matthew R. Miner and wife Molly, of Dillsburg, PA and Michael J. Miner, of College Station, TX.  Her grandchildren:  Payton, Mason, Madelynne, Elyse, Luke, Samuel and Marie.  She is predeceased by her sister, Rylean Frieling, and parents.   

Memorial Service details:

Friday, September 1st, 2023

10am Visitation with Family

11am Memorial Service

Reception following

West Shore Free Church

1345 Williams Grove Road

Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

For those unable to attend, a live streaming link will be made available closer to the service date.  A recording of the memorial will also be posted soon after the service on the Cocklin Funeral Home website, Please check back for more details.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Shirlene's name may be made to The Rafiki Foundation, PO Box 1988, Eustis, FL 32727,

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Memorial Service
September 1, 2023

11:00 AM
West Shore Evangelical Free Church
1345 Williams Grove Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


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