Shirley Ranshaw

Shirley A. Ranshaw

1936 - 2023

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Obituary of Shirley A. Ranshaw

Shirley A. (Thomas) Ranshaw, age 87 longtime Iowa City resident died Thursday, November 16, 2023, at Briarwood Care Center in Iowa City.

A time of visitation will be held for family and friends from 1 to 3 pm Sunday, November 19, 2023, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service.  Private family graveside services will take place at Memory Gardens Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center or Essence of Life Hospice in Amana.    To share a thought, memory or condolence with her family please visit Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service website @

Shirley Ann Thomas was born on August 16, 1936, in Johnson County, Iowa, the daughter of Fred and Marcella (Mullinnex) Thomas. Shirley attended Lone Tree High School.  On May 10, 1959, she married Kenneth E. Ranshaw.  Together they opened Ken’s Farm Auto Store in Iowa City which later became the first discount store in this area. They also became founding partners in Western World. Later, they developed and operated K & R Rentals, along with a number of other developments. Shirley was always supportive of Ken’s business ventures and truly a big part of them.

Shirley was also involved with the Red Hat Club, the Knee Knockers and attended water aerobics. She also loved a good movie and adored dogs.  More than anything though, she had a special place in her heart for her family and friends.

Her family includes her children, Karen Tardy (Eugene), Kathy Paulsen (special friend, Fred Cox) and Kurt Ranshaw (Laurie); grandchildren, Shawn Paulsen (Laura), Brent Paulsen, Katie Kettells (Greg) and Zak Ranshaw; great-grandchildren,  Lily, Jack and Jonah and Jonah’s mother, Audie Barker; sisters, Carolyn  Hammer, Linda Milder, Patricia Thomas; and a brother, Darryl Thomas.

Preceded in death by her parents, husband, Ken; granddaughter, Jenna Tardy and in-laws, Jerry Hammer, Allen Milder and Sandy Thomas.

In Shirley’s smiling memory, please eat a piece of chocolate and remember Shirley!





1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Sunday, November 19, 2023
Gay & Ciha Funeral And Cremation Service
2720 Muscatine Ave.
Iowa City, Iowa, United States