Shirley Cahalen

Aug. 20, 1933 - Feb. 3, 2024


February 20, 2024 - 2:35 PM

Shirley Leanore Pearman Cahalen passed away in the early hours of Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at the Catholic Care Center in Bel Aire. She was 90 years old.

Shirley was born Aug. 20, 1933, in LaHarpe, the daughter of Hugh Edgar and Irma Eunonia (Russell) Pearman.

Shirley graduated from Iola High School in 1952.

Shirley married Keith E. Cahalen on Sept. 2, 1953, in Folkston, Ga. They were married for over 53 years at the time of his death in 2006.

Shirley lived in Jacksonville, Florida, from 1953-1958, then Pratt, Kansas from 1959-1971, ElDorado, Kansas, from 1971-2008 and then Bel Aire, from 2008-2024.

Shirley earned her Bachelors of Education degree from Northwestern Oklahoma University in 1966 and taught Home Economics from 1966 to 1981.

She then earned her Masters of Education-Learning Disability from Kansas State University in 1981.

She established and led the Learning Disability programs at Augusta, Andover and then El Dorado USD from 1981 to 1993.

Shirley was a member of Kansas State University Alumni Association and an active participant of NEA, KNEA, Kappa Delta Pi, American Association of University Women and American Legion Auxiliary.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Keith E., sister, Noreen, and brother Russell.

Survivors include her son, Keith Patrick Cahalen; daughter-in-law Mary E. McGlenn Cahalen, granddaughter, Kaitlyn E. Cahalen; grandson, Barrett P. Cahalen.

Services for Shirley will be held privately at a later date at  Highland Cemetery in Iola.

Share a memory, leave condolences or sign her tribute wall at

Cornejo Funeral Home, 1030 Mission Rd., Wellington, Kansas 67152.