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Shirley (Beckman Walker) Cheatum, age 67, of rural Edina, Missouri, died Sunday, July 31, 2011, at Northeast Missouri Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, Missouri following a short stay at La Plata Nursing Home.
The daughter of Henry and Daisy Beckman, she was born August 2, 1943 in the state of Iowa.
On October 17, 1975, she was married to Robert Walker in LaPlata, and he preceded her in death on April 14, 1992. On December 20, 2002, she was married to Bill Cheatum in Novelty, and he preceded her in death on Aug. 5, 2010. Also preceding her in death were her parents.
She is survived by one son Gary Beckman and Jocelyn of Pontiac, Illinois; three step-daughters, Tammy Carmack of LaPlata, Julie Cheatum of Louisville, Kentucky, and Justina Folsom and her husband Dave of La Plata; two step-sons, Jeremy Cheatum and wife Waunita of Edina and Jeffery Cheatum of Novelty; eleven grandchildren, Lauren, Andrew, and Keyton Beckman of Pontiac, Illinois, Alexandria, Robert, and McKayla Carmack of LaPlata, Jacob and Lucas Cheatum of Edina, and Michael, Laken, & Connor Folsom of LaPlata; one brother Earl Beckman of LaPlata; one sister Barb Grable of Kirksville; numerous nieces & nephews including a very special nephew George Jackson of Millard; mother-in-law Helen Cheatum of Novelty; and sisters-in-law, Diana Cheatum & Donna Bradshaw who took lead roles as Shirley’s health caretakers the past year.
Shirley was employed by and retired from McGraw’s and Hollister’s in Kirksville.
Shirley was very proud of her association with Moore’s All American Red Heads during the years of 1962-1963, traveling throughout the U.S. & Canada, including Alaska, in exhibition games. She had kept up-to-date with current nation-wide recognition of the “Redheads” as the 1st Professional Women’s Basketball Team, paving the way for current day Pro Women’s Basketball. She attended the grand opening in Knoxville, Tennessee of the Women’s Basketball’s Hall of Fame, several years ago recognizing the Redheads in a special section for their trailblazing efforts for women’s basketball.
Shirley enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, including a special time the last two weeks with her oldest grandchild Lauren for a recent two week stay and then meeting her son Gary and family and spending a special time with grandchildren Lauren, Andrew, and Keyton in Hannibal last Wednesday.
Graveside services were Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at La Plata Cemetery in La Plata, Missouri. Officiating was Pastor Paul Milliken of Novelty, Missouri.
Memorials in memory of Shirley may be made to the Novelty Christian Church, Novelty Senior Center, or La Plata Cemetery. They can be mailed to or left at Travis Funeral Chapel, 125 S. Church St., La Plata, Missouri 63549.