Windy Shockley

My dad, a quiet, humble man was born at home, just two months after the great stock market crash.  His parents were Elzer Shockley and Thelma Cline, farmers in the Ozarks region. It was also in 1929 that family farms were being bought out from under them.  A dam was built, those rich farm lands flooded, and the Lake of the Ozarks was born. So the choice was made by Elzer to move his family to KC to look for work.  Windy had an older brother, Sam. As children raised during the Great Depression, it is not difficult to imagine the impact of life’s circumstances and lessons that were impressed upon them.  They both went to work at a young age to help provide for the family. Windy graduated high school in 1948. At the time it was simply Shawnee High School, now it is Shawnee Mission North High School.  As a boy, he worked a few different jobs. He often told stories of working in the city stockyards. His appreciation of the beauty in such a smart, powerful animal as the Clydesdale horses working with him in those stock yards, stayed with him throughout life.  As did his strong work ethic and drive to provide for his family. After graduating high school, his older brother spent some time in the Navy. Windy chose the Army. And so was enlisted in the army from 1951-1954. Windy was stationed in Germany for most of his service time, with the 7th evac hospital.  His primary duty was as a cook.  Thankfully, he did not see front-line battle.  My dad told endless stories of his time in Germany.  It was an adventure of a lifetime for him. He enjoyed his time there.  He thought the people were friendly, the country was beautiful, and the towns and villages were so clean it amazed him.  After an honorable discharge in 1954, windy completed a BS in electrical engineering at Finlay Engineering College in 1958.  It was also after returning from Germany that he met and married Katherine Francis Ford. They were married secretly in 1956, and then publicly in 1957.  They had a son in 1958, William Allen Shockley. A daughter was adopted in 1970, Dawn Denise Shockley-Burt. Unable to find work at the time with his electrical degree, Windy began working as an independents news carrier, delivering the KC Star.  Back then, the Star produced a morning and evening paper Monday – Friday, and a morning paper Saturday and Sunday. So for years he worked seven days a week, 2am-7am and 2pm-7pm. If there was snow and ice, it just took twice as long. If he was sick, he powered through.  The route was over a large portion of Johnson County with several hundred customers. And it was solely his. So there were no sick days, no vacation days. If he didn’t deliver the paper, the Star would take the route away. You can imagine the toll this takes on a man. In the mid-1970’s a lawsuit was filed against the KC Star, by the carriers to keep their routes independently.  After a lengthy court battle over several years, the KC Star prevailed. Refusing to go to work for the Star, Windy retired from the grueling demands of self-employment. Shortly thereafter, he went to work for a good friend of his as a finishing carpenter. He enjoyed working with his hands, building things, fixing things. That generation never threw anything away, they knew how to fix everything.  He amassed a collection of parts and tools, unrivaled by anyone! All you had to do was mention a project you were going to do, and he would go down to the basement or garage for a few minutes, then return with the right screws, nails, twine or tool for the job. He lived in a neighborhood that knew each other and helped each other without hesitation. It was only with the help of those neighbors and my family, that we were able to keep him in his home for the first two years after the stroke.  Countless acts of kindness were done for my father in the last four years. I will never be able to adequately express my appreciation to each of you for all the things done to help, care for and love my dad. He was a man who found it easiest to express love by “doing”. And he would, whenever he could. Having to give up his independence and ability to do for others was a difficult change. He would have much rather preferred to be doing for all of you. But my dad, in his quiet, humble way, made the best of the cards he’d been dealt these last four years.  He is free from his tired, broken body. It was a strong body that served him well. He joins now all those loved ones that have gone before him: parents, a brother, many cousins, aunts and uncles. Best friends, lifelong friends. He is survived by all of us. The stories and memories live on in each of us now. My dad, a quiet, humble man, was a great man. – Dee


Visitation at Amos Family Funeral Home, 10901 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, KS 66203, on Thursday, March 8th from 6:00 to 7:00 PM.  Funeral service will immediately follow at 7:00 PM. 


The family asks any memorial contributions may be made to:

Alzheimer’s Association
3846 W 75th St.
Prairie Village, KS 66208


National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
2600 Network Blvd, Suite 300
Frisco, TX 75034


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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Monday, Mar. 5th 2018 | No Comments »

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10901 Johnson Dr.
Shawnee, KS 66203

P  (913) 631-5566
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