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August 12, 1922 - October 29, 2018
Service Date: November 2, 2018
Church Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home
Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, November 2, 2018 at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery.
Condolences may be conveyed to the family through the funeral home website.
Constance Shirley Gilreath, age 96, Rapid City, passed away on Monday, October 29, 2018 at Pine Hills Retirement Community in Hot Springs. She was born on August 12, 1922 in Hot Springs, SD to Carl and Esther Muehl. They moved to the Reliance/Chamberlain area where she grew up and graduated high school in Chamberlain, SD.
She married Allen Ashley shortly after graduation and to this union, four children were born. They moved to Rapid City in the early 40’s and built their home. She worked at the family restaurant for a while and transferred to Montgomery Wards, and later worked in the insurance department at Bennett Clarkson Hospital, where she retired.
Shirley loved reading, gardening and crossword puzzles. She was a great cook and excellent seamstress. She also got involved with arts and crafts, making that a hobby she carried through life. Whatever the new trend was, she was learning and making. Her craft room was full of patterns, material, yarn, knitting needles, paints, leather, beads, quilt squares, miles of ribbon, twine, thread and whatever else was needed for her projects. She also loved the Holidays. She would cook and decorate for days. All of us remember the tins of homemade candy she would prepare and present to us. Her 4th of July picnics were seldom missed. Burgers on the grill and the homemade ice cream were a special treat.
In 1958, she met and married Vern Gilreath. They started square dancing and it soon became their passion. Every Saturday night, they would dress in their square dance attire, which was usually matching and made by Shirley. They would go to the local dance halls in Rapid City or the surrounding areas like Custer or Rockerville and dance the night away. They spent over 40 years enjoying dancing and making dear friends along the way.
Shirley is survived by her children, Ronald Ashley, Terry (Jeannie) Ashley, Connie (Darrell) McNabb, and Nina Hollenbeck; nine grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents, four brothers and two sisters.