Shirley Luke Schnell was a local talented artist and dedicated, curious, and creative art teacher who made a significant impact on the art world and the lives of her students. Her work has been shown throughout the United States and in Canada, Japan, and Ireland. She exhibited at the Invitational Easter at the White House in 1987. Her work resides in the permanent collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and at the State Historical Society of Missouri. Just as she was artistically talented and curious, she was equally compassionate, respectful, and generous to others in life and now in death.

Shirley passed away on March 30, 2023, at 86 years old.  According to her obituary, she had a boundless gratitude for life and a great ability to speak of and to all people with respect. Through her compassion and respect for people in need, Shirley’s niece says she was renowned to carry gift cards and pass them out to people she felt could benefit from them.  Shirley inspired her niece and great niece to do the same.  It is a practice her niece and great niece intend to continue and is a testament to her character and the impact she had on the world around her. Shirley simply lived the spirit of caritas. In the cold Kansas City winters, Shirley would buy and carry winter hats and gloves in her car and give those out to people in need.

Her kindness and generosity extended beyond her own personal efforts with the gift cards and winter accessories.  Shirley made a significant donation to Catholic Charities in her will.  Shirley Luke Schnell’s legacy of giving to those in need will continue through this donation.  This donation will make a meaningful difference in the lives of many individuals and families, and we are very grateful for her donation.

Shirley will be remembered for her kindness and generosity and celebrated for years to come. It is our hope that Shirley inspires you to make a difference in our community and help those in need.

By Whitney Meiners, Major Gifts Manager

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