Billie Jo Shaffer

August 09, 1930 - March 24, 2019
Billie Jo Shaffer

Billie Jo Ann (Pollock) Shaffer, 88, a longtime resident of Altamont, passed away at 2:35 a.m., Sunday, March 24, 2019 at the Parsons Good Samaritan Society where she had resided the past 11 years.

She was born August 9, 1930 to William “Perry” and Hattie Belle (Doyle) Pollock in Altamont, Kansas.

She attended schools in Altamont graduating from Labette County Community High School in 1948. She was active in the high school band as well as a cheerleader for the “Grizzlies”. Billie Jo was the 1948 basketball homecoming Tamasha queen.

She and Leon E. Shaffer were married April 9, 1950 at the Presbyterian Church in Altamont. Their entire marriage was lived in Altamont following Leon’s honorable discharge from the United States Army, after serving in Korea. Leon preceded her in death on June 11, 1996.

Billie Jo retired in 1993 from the Labette County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service after working there 37 years. She loved assisting area farmers with the agricultural programs. She loved agriculture and those who made America such a good country and their home. Her astonishing wit was known by the community and every so often surprised those around her with her “smart aleck” statements. She didn’t mind voicing her opinion, whether you wanted to hear it or not. Many a farmer called her “Dynamite in a Small Package”. Her favorite saying was “Either Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way”.

After retirement, she enjoyed her “Rural Community”. Her involvement in the activities with the LCHS Booster Club, the LCHS Alumni Association, the Parsons Quilters Guild and the area sewing clubs was evident by those who knew her. Billie Jo enjoyed traveling so much that she started the Golden Adventure Club where she not only volunteered her time, but many times paid for bus trips out of her own pocket so the community members could enjoy the trips.

She loved helping at the family farm enjoying the job title as “Go For” given to her by her father-in-law and her husband. She enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s many school and sporting events, their 4-H activities, Bryson’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) local and State events, never missing an activity.

She was a volunteer for the Altamont Tel-Line program calling many Seniors each morning and starting their day off with her humor and a smile that could be seen through the phone; volunteered her time with the Labette County Relay for Life, being a breast cancer survivor; and making Christmas candy for the community and sharing it with all her friends and neighbors. She never met a stranger and always would strike up a conversation with anyone. Within a few minutes, that stranger became a good friend and affectionately came to know “Granny Bill”, a nickname she cherished.

Hobbies included sewing, knitting, crocheting, taking care of her beautiful geranium flowers at her home, bowling, watching area youth and Kansas City Royals baseball, and was a very enthusiastic follower of the Kansas State Wildcats and the Labette County High School Grizzlies.

Survivors include:

Son – Keith Shaffer and his wife, Janell, of Altamont, KS

Grandson – Bryson Shaffer and his wife, Jamie of Altamont, KS

Great-Grandchildren – Gentry Shaffer, Cara Jo Shaffer, and “Baby Boy” who will arrive in August 2019.

Nephew – Bruce Duckworth of Lee’s Summit, MO

Godson – Jeff Johnston and his wife, Bernie, of Bartlett, KS

Many close friends and acquaintances who affectionately called her “Granny Bill”

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, Perry in 1989 and Hattie Belle in 1991; father-in-law, Glen Shaffer in 1985 and mother-in-law, Grace Shaffer in 1967; one sister, Verna Lea Duckworth in 1985, granddaughter, Kara Shaffer in 1997; and Godson, Dannie Johnston, in 2015.

A special “Thank You” to those at the Good Samaritan Society in Parsons who assisted her the past 11 years and to those with Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice who assisted her at the end of her life here on earth.

Her smile, her laugh, and her sense of humor were contagious to everyone. Billie Jo brought much laughter and a spark of joy to those she met, knew, and loved.

Graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Altamont. Friends may call at their convenience from 1-8:00 p.m., Tuesday, at the Bath-Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorials are suggested to the Kara Shaffer Memorial Scholarship Fund or the Verna Lea Duckworth Memorial Scholarship Fund to assist seniors with their college education. These may be left at or mailed to Bath-Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 325, Altamont, KS 67330.

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