Shirley Payer


Shirley Ilene (Niemand) Payer, age 86 of Centerville, passed away Monday, July 11, 2022 at MercyOne Medical Center in Centerville.

Shirley was born on March 10, 1936 in Pocahontas County, Iowa, the daughter of Gilbert and Clara (Joachims) Niemand.  She attended several schools, and later went to Jr. High in Pocahontas, Iowa.  During high school, Shirley was very active in school activities, especially all music.  She was Majorette for the Marching Band for 3 years as well as Cheerleader for Basketball and Football for all 4 years.  Shirley graduated from Pocahontas High School with the Class of 1954.  She then attended cosmetology school.  She worked at several different jobs in her life and was always there for her family.

Shirley was united in marriage to Duane Barnabas Payer on June 19, 1956 in Pocahontas, Iowa at St. Peters and Pauls.  To this union, three children were born, David, Denise and Denae.

In 1969, the family moved from Pocahontas to Centerville, where Shirley worked for a period of time at Easter’s Super Value and was offered the job with the 1880 Sr. Citizen Club in 1970, which she re-organized planning all activities, and arranged trips to every state, including Hawaii four times and three cruises.  Pancake Day was always a highlight of the Sr’s, helping build the floats, making all the flowers and decorating.  She especially enjoyed winning 1st place for the most beautiful and originality in different years.

She started the Thanksgiving Day Dinner for those who are alone, and continued helping for 15 years.  Shirley received the Citizen of the Year Award in 1973, and the Foundation Award for Common Wealth Award for compassion in 1996, as well as other awards.  She also helped set up the Sr. Transit Service in Centerville for Centerville and Appanoose County in the Ten County Area under the Sieda Corporation.  She was always glad to see the service still operating.  People were really her hobby and always enjoyed seeing people happy.

Shirley was a member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville.  Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were a big part of her life.  Shirley enjoyed working with flowers, decorating, knitting, sewing and adult coloring.  Music was a large portion of her life, especially Christian and Country music.

Shirley retired in 1998 and worked at Kelly’s and Kortlin’s Jewelry for 4 years.  She was a two-time Cancer survivor, but always kept positive and was always there for those fighting the battle.

Left to cherish Shirley’s memory are her children, David Payer, Denise (Rick) Sebolt, and Denae Payer; eight grandchildren, Josh (Chris) Rodrick, Melissa (Bradley) Brevig, Meagan (Paul) Sobolik, Steven (Shelley) Kaster, Megan (Justin) Jedlicka, Staci (Dustin) Freeman, Scott (Ashley) Kaster, and Aryc Huff; eighteen great grandchildren; as well as many extended family members.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Duane Payer; her parents, Gilbert and Clara Niemand; and a great granddaughter, Coralynn Sobolik.

Funeral services will be held at 11AM, Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville with Fr. Timothy Armbruster officiating.  Burial will follow in the Haines Cemetery, north of Centerville.  A visitation will take place on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at Lange Funeral Home in Centerville, with the family receiving friends from 10-11AM.  Memorials have been established to either EveryStep Hospice or MercyOne Foundation, and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, ATTN: Payer family, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544.  Condolences may be shared online at or on our funeral home Facebook page. 

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments